large detailed drawing of bull thistle flower head by kristin maija peterson

BASKET (above) is featured in Eyewitness: Minnesota Reflections on Climate Change
published by Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy
in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2020.
Copies of Eyewitness can be purchased here.

About the Artist


Through my work, I represent the wild and the messy, the landscape within a landscape. These are the spaces and places most always overlooked yet they are amazing universes vital to the ecosystem as a whole. There is such beauty in the natural chaos of things.

If others find what I create as beautiful, I can open a dialogue about the meaning of the work, about the environment, climate change, and what these things mean to us. Engaging in a non-confrontation way, I can provide information to help others understand there are real-life changes they can implement to help address climate change. No one organization, system, or individual created climate change, and no one organization, system, or individual can solve it. Collectively, though, we can turn the tide. This is the hope I want to bring through my work.

Terra Kind Studio is the creation of visual artist and designer Kristin Maija Peterson providing original works and fine art prints for sale. She calls herself a beauty hunter and is a huge fan of Beatrix Potter, Georgia O’Keeffe, and the many amazing women artists she has gotten to know. One of Kristin’s biggest joys is bringing the diverse beauty of the natural world into people’s lives.

visual artist Kristin Maija Peterson working on watercolor in her studio surrounded by her other framed watercolors

Here I am in my studio working on one of my watercolors.
My work is slow, intentional, and meditative as a Minnesota winter.

watercolor and color pencil drawing of a milkweed thicket by visual artist Kristin Maija Peterson
view of native prairie flowers and grasses found at Thomas Lake Native Prairie Preserve in Eagan, Minnesota


Top left is a landscape within a landscape, a tangle of milkweed pods shimmering near the shoreline of Early Lake in early spring. Instead of sentimentality, I wanted to show that monarch butterflies depend on milkweed habitat to thrive in a subtle way among the thicket of stems and dried grasses.

Watercolor + color and graphite pencil on Stonehenge hot press 140lb watercolor paper. Framed. 22” x 26” / $950. (Click image for larger view). 2016 © Kristin Maija Peterson

Below Left: Inspiration is everywhere! I often walk the trails at native park preserves. Here is Thomas Lake Native Prairie Preserve in Eagan, Minnesota at the height of summer bloom with Black-eyed Susans, Monarda (Bees Balm), White Asters, and prairie grasses. (Click image for larger view).

illustration of three wild turkeys by Kristin Maija Peterson


While growing up in west-central Minnesota, I pretty much drew on every piece of paper I could lay my hands on. Little storybooks bound by staples, I would fill pages with my imagination and illustrations and have my parents write in the story that I dictated before I got a handle on writing words on my own. Spelling, however, has never been a strong suit.

My earliest memories are about looking — really looking at the world around me and wanting to get it all down on paper. It’s the small, lovely hidden gems I want to expose – the under the curve of a leaf, the shapes native flowers take on after a frost, the ornate structure of thickets, the patterns found in insects and seed heads.

I am a beauty hunter.
 Drawn to the complexity and rich details found in Nature, I strive to show a world within a world worth exploring and protecting.

Graphite pencil + spot watercolor on Stonehenge hot press 140lb watercolor paper. Framed. 18” x 22” 2014 © Kristin Maija Peterson (Click image for larger view).
In private collection.

A Few Other Details

  • An honors graduate of the University of Minnesota-Morris (1984) with a B.A. in Studio Art and Art History
  • Attended St. Catherine University Women’s Art Institute Summer Studio Intensive (2019)
  • Doubled as a graphic designer, having spent the past 25 running a branding design studio (Grand Ciel Design Co.)
  • Transitioning to life as a full-time artist in 2020 (I’ve been one all my life. The first box of crayons was transformative)
  • Work in watercolor, ink, and graphite, exploring different mediums and techniques, anxious to get back into printmaking and book arts
  • Current studio is a spare bedroom but I’m looking forward to the day I have my own away-from-home studio space
  • Was on the hunt for an antique wooden architect’s drafting table. Expectations changed. Read about it on my blog.
  • Never been handy with glue ~ don’t ask me to glue anything, ever!

On a Personality Note

I’m curious about what makes people who they are given we are a mash of experiences, tastes, eccentricities, culture, language, what pisses us off, and what gives us joy. Naturally, I am curious about what makes me tick. These are a few of the things I found out based on tests and scales. They’re intriguing, all taken with a grain of salt.

PRONOUNS: she/her/hers
(Why Pronouns Matter)

MYERS-BRIGGS: INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging) That would be me alright. The judging took me aback. I don’t or want to ever judge people. Judging must mean gaging, sizing up a situation, etc.

STRENGTH FINDER 2.0: Input, Learner, Empathy, Intellection, Connectedness

SPARKATYPE: I am a Maven and a Maker. That is, I will dive headfirst into researching and learning what I need to know to make something. But as soon as I feel I know enough, I start the process of making. Making art, making websites, making poems, making a garden, making a sweater, making a souffle, making a mess…
(Learn more about Sparkatypes)

I’m all on board about the creative nature of 4s, but there is this tendency for self-absorption that makes me cringe. Being aware this can creep up, I do my best to counter it by actively listening and empathizing with others.

CATS OR DOGS? Both and have lived with both. Currently pet-less, I am drawn to just about any animal. Horses, birds, insects, frogs, snakes, mice, manta rays, whales, and even spiders!

From the Practical Art World

In describing artwork dimensions, the standard is to list the height first, then the width, then the depth, if applicable.
That’s how artwork dimensions will be listed on Terra Kind Studio. (True confession, I have been stating artwork
dimensions wrong for years!)


Make Yourself at Home

metal point drawing of a single catbird by artist Kristin Maija Peterson


While they are ubiquitous, our lives would be silent without them.

page spead HOPE from the book Eyewitness Minnesotan Voices on Climate Change


Featured in the Climate Generation’s EYEWITNESS: Minnesota Voices on Climate Change

watercolor of bright orange peel fungi by Kristin Maija Peterson


Hunting for beauty in the wild and messy spaces that go unnoticed. (Unless you happen to be a bright orange peel fungi.)

drawing-mixed media of honey bee on handmade paper


Series produced during St. Catherine University Women’s Art Institute Summer Studio Intensive.

Behind the Scenes

Natural things, references and drawings, studies that sometimes lead to progress, discoveries, and new directions. I have a deep, ongoing curiosity about our relationship with the natural world. How has colonization, hybridization, botanizing landscapes, and other human influences impact life on Earth through out history?

hands holding hard bound book titled familiar wild flowers white aster flowers pressed between pages on dark wooded table surrouned by wildflowers
watercolor pen and ink illustration of a prostrate spurge by visual artist Kristin Maija Peterson
pen and ink illustration of oranges on orange artisan paper by visual artist Kristin Maija Peterson
beautiful autumn leaf litter found in my side yard


10% of all Terra Kind Studio’s annual sales of original artwork and prints are donated to nonprofits working on environmental and climate change issues. By supporting this local artist, you can have beauty on your walls while doing good in the world.

All artwork is the sole property of Kristin Maija Peterson and is held under copyright, even after purchase. The images, artwork, and contents of this website may not be copied, collected, or used for personal or professional gain without written permission from Kristin Maija Peterson. All images of artwork, sold or otherwise, are retained by Kristin Maija Peterson.


Terra Kind Studio showcases the creative work of visual artist and designer Kristin Maija Peterson. Growing up among prairies, lakes, rivers, and oak savannas along with her project work with environmental nonprofit organizations have collectively influenced her creative path. Kristin works in watercolor, graphite, color pencil, oil pastels and pen and ink, interpreting in detail the beautiful chaos within native wild spaces and its inhabitants found living there. She sees all living creatures as kin and is always kind to spiders.

Contact the Studio

p: 651 318 7100

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