Acrylic painter Kim Testone working on one of her large ice cream cone paintings.

Kim Testone is a contemporary acrylic realist painter whose work focuses on happy and colorful dessert foods that evoke a sense of nostalgia. Her unique painting style combines her formal education with many years of self-taught technique. 

Often using pure white backgrounds that both showcase the painting subject and lend a clean and contemporary aesthetic to her works, Kim hopes her paintings provide a sense of happy calm to whatever space they inhabit.

“I like to think that art doesn’t have to be super-serious to make it meaningful. If it can make someone feel a little happier when they see it, if it elicits a happy memory or just the feeling of being a kid experiencing a bit of magic in the world, then to me, it was worth creating.”

Kim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with a concentration in Drawing from the University of Central Florida and a Master’s degree in Arts Administration from Savannah College of Art and Design. She is a former art magazine editor, as well as a former theme park caricature and silhouette artist. Today, her original paintings are represented by Hidell Brooks Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her fourth solo show, featuring large-scale ice cream cones and sundaes in October 2023, sold out.

Kim's art continues to evolve, as she works on a variety of large and small pieces, and pushes the boundaries of her realistic painting techniques, her subjects, and the impact of the works on the viewers.

“I try to infuse a bit of personality into my paintings. I work hard on the designs and colors to make people feel something when they see the work, something that reminds them of some simple beautiful moment in time, now ever-present. Maybe something from their childhood, or some special occasion. I think that’s why I like painting ice cream that makes a bit of a mess, with drips and imperfections— because those represent the most beautiful moments to me. And ultimately, that's the stuff we hold onto in life.”