The rural landscape in central Illinois where Kesler grew up is reflected in much of her work. Her first oil paintings as a high school student were realistic "snapshots" of rural architecture that earned her several awards in the National Scholastic Art Competition. After earning a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Illinois in 1982, she began combining abstract, flat compositions with realistic images in a comment on the flatness of the fields around her. Influenced by Cubism and the art of the 1940's, Kesler gravitated towards greater abstraction.
Kesler's recent work pays tribute to both the Cubists and the patterns she finds in rural imagery. She is intrigued by the possibilities of repetition and attributes her attraction to the patchwork in the quilts and farmland of her childhood. In her mixed media works on paper, she stylizes forms into simpler geometric shapes and juxtaposes bold colors in fanciful compositions. Contrasts between light and dark are central to her art.
Kesler's work can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the country.