The river welds its muse to shape the stories we tell ourselves.

Ask people to look at what the water is saying, hear its poetry, and sense its magic. We feel so much better sitting at the river’s edge.


River Divinations

This series began with an audio story recorded by a first-year University of Saint Thomas student telling about his experiences with the Mississippi River. Wanting to take an authentic approach for the project (Mississippi River Stories Exhibit), I retraced this student’s steps as best imaginable and discovered a portal into an oasis of peace and beauty.

Light filtered through flaming autumn maple leaves in stunning color created a magical experience. I began taking lots of reference photos and in do so noticed patterns and arrangements of rocks, seeds, sticks, leaves and sand along the shore. It made me start thinking about divinations and their meaning.

We live in a state with the most fresh water in the world, home to the source of the Mississippi River. Water shapes our stories, songs, art, and culture. Though we have made efforts in restoration and conservation, we have done much damage to our life-giving water. It’s time to wake up to what the river telling us.

River Divination No. 1: Shores of the Mississippi River

River Divination No. 1

This watercolor was created in participation with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO), The Natural Heritage Project, and the University of St. Thomas’ Sustainable Communities Project for the exhibit Mississippi River Stories.

Watercolor on 300 lb. 100% Cotton Hot Press Fabriano Watercolor Paper. 36” x 30.5” (framed)

© 2021 Kristin Maija Peterson

River Divination No. 2 Passing Through watercolor of the Mississippi River shoreline by Kristin Maija Peterson

River Divination No. 2

There was so much to take in that day by the Mississippi shoreline and I took many reference photos to bring back to the studio. I noticed a dog’s paw print with indentations of water drops scattered on the sand. The dog must have enjoyed a river dip before trotting back onto the bank. While I was relieved not to see trash scattered about, I didn’t see any evidence of human occupation with the exception of a lone rusted bolt that had washed ashore.

Watercolor on 300 lb. 100% Cotton Hot Press Fabriano Watercolor Paper. Framed 28” x 28” (framed)
© 2021 Kristin Maija Peterson

We Will Know When We Get There a new 2023 watercolor by Kristin Maija Peterson as part of her River Divination series

River Divination No. 3

This piece is an extension of River Divination No. 2: Passing Through. You can see a few of the same stones, the rusted bolt washed up long ago, and a dog’s paw print in the sand but at a different perspective and lighting. It’s how our minds view and interpret the world, looking for signs of where to go next. The strong afternoon light in contrast to what could be my shadow, standing there observing the patterns and organic forms designed by the river, whispering to me where I should go next.

Watercolor on 300 lb. 100% Cotton Hot Press Fabriano Watercolor Paper. 28” x 28” (framed)
© 2023 Kristin Maija Peterson

large square watercolor detail view of suburban marsh ecosystem in autumn with floating russet, pink, orange pin oak leaves, branches and clouds reflecting on the water

River Divination No. 4

This is a view into the marsh that lives behind our house. It’s autumn with a few clouds reflecting on its shallow waters. In spring the marsh bursts into frog song. Later the arrowheads and blue flags will bloom. Red wing blackbirds nest in the reeds. Muskrats patrol Mallard ducks all summer long. That’s just the surface. I know there are many more organisms that call this marsh home.

People sometimes use marsh and swamp interchangeably. I didn’t know the difference until I looked it up. Both are shallow bodies of water but their identification is based on where they reside. Marshes are found in open areas like prairie wetlands and swamps in forested areas. Both are vital and vibrate, diverse ecosystems.

Watercolor on 300 lb. 100% Cotton Hot Press Fabriano Watercolor Paper.  32” x 32” (framed)
© 2023 Kristin Maija Peterson

River Divination No. 5 Devotion watercolor of blue stone on the sandy river shore with a yellow autumn leaf draped over it as if in an embrace

River Divination No. 5

There are times when nature orchestrates a moment that feels like it was intended for you. Like a Zen master, she askes you to pay attention to this one point in time and be devoted to it.

An autumn leaf lands on a rock just so on the banks of the Mississippi River, October 18, 2021.

$800 (SOLD)
Watercolor on 300 lb. 100% Cotton Hot Press Fabriano Watercolor Paper. 25” x 25” (framed) © 2023 Kristin Maija Peterson

Giving Back.

10% of all Terra Kind Studio Co.’s annual art sales are donated to nonprofits devoted to environmental and climate change issues.
By supporting my work as an artist, you’ll have nature’s beauty dressing 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 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 she finds in native wild spaces and its inhabitants who call these spaces home. Kristin sees all living creatures as kin and is always kind to spiders.

Be Kind to Everything That Lives.

Terra Kind Studio Co. logo in terra cotta color

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