Artist Kami Mendlik in her studio
Kami Mendlik in her studio born 1973

How did you get started and then develop your career?

In the beginning I didn’t think of painting as my career, I just knew I needed to paint. It didn’t even feel like it was a conscious decision at the time, more like an internal drive and desire that couldn’t be ignored. I soon realized that if I were to spend my life painting, I needed to earn a living doing so and that training and education would be necessary in order to become the best I could be. Thirty years later, this very not straight and narrow path has led me here, an eternal student of life and painting. My quest for studying the countless nuances of color remains. Painting has supported me and my family for decades now and continues to do so. In 2008, I founded the St Croix River School of Painting in Minnesota where I live, teach, breath, and paint. I am currently in the final stages of writing and editing my book on painting and seeing the relativity of color to share with all.

How do you describe success?

For me success is not about ‘being’ successful but living this precious life to its fullest. To me, the art is our life, and painting my means of expression and communication. Success for me is the practice of being present in the moment, which is not always easy to do, but it’s a practice I bring awareness to every day. Saying yes to opportunities and painting my way through this journey. Success is being able to wake up and do it again tomorrow.

To see more of Kami’s work, please visit:

oil painting of 3/4 tree leaning over riverbed
Kami Mendlik, Merging Waters – St. Croix, 16 x 20 in., oil on linen panel, 2022
oil painting of fall vibrant red on trees, leaning over river
Kami Mendlik, Take Me to The River – Brule, 30 x 24 in., oil on linen panel, 2022


  1. I am so glad to see my friend and mentor, Kami Mendlik featured here. She is a gifted painter with a generous spirit, excellent teaching skills, and has worked harder at this sacred vocation than anyone I know. Her full commitment to her art and to passing knowledge on to others is a joy to behold and has literally changed my life.


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