Artist Member Spotlight: Kelly Taylor
Kelly Taylor is an active part of the artist community at Arts Center East. She continually helps with exhibits and events, in addition to being an artist. Her work has been included in many of Arts Center East’s multimedia and Members Exhibits, as well as in the Annual Holiday Fair.
Growing up, Kelly found inspiration from her mother. “I was drawn to making and creating since childhood. My mom is a very creative person. We would always have a Christmas project of making ornaments, and she was always drawn to creating beautiful decorative pieces for our home. So I think I inherited her interest and started out on my own path through drawing and oil painting.”
Kelly did not study art in school, but she did take private art lessons. This personal pursuit of arts education has given Kelly a kind of flexibly and freedom in her artistic choices. “I love experimenting to figure out how to achieve a certain result and have failed many times, but have learned so much through that process to help me develop successful work.” One artist who had a strong influence on her journey is Debi Pendell.
“Debi was an artist/teacher who taught at Creative Artist Workshop in New Haven as well as Farmington Valley Arts Center, and I really connected with her approach to creating art. I continue to be connected to Debi by attending her annual artist retreat that she held in her loft at the Eclipse Mill in North Adams, MA for many years, and most recently now through an artist residency workshop that she facilitates at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASSMoCA) also in North Adams.”
Drawn to crating abstract art, Kelly utilizes acrylic paints, gels and pastes, collage, mark-making, and photo transfer techniques. “I have developed my own techniques for creating highly textured abstract landscapes with the use of acrylic light molding paste, glass bead gel, and crackle paste. Starting with a basic composition, I use the materials, which dry white, to create my interpretation of land, sea, sky, vegetation, and other nature based elements. Once dry, I start with the painting process using fluid acrylic paints. My work ranges from very small, 6×6, to large, 24×24, and I work on a cradled board which supports the weight of all the materials.
My alternative technique involves collage, paint, and photographic images. I love using found papers or using my own painted papers for the collage process. I then may add some paint to highlight an area of interest or to create pathways through the work. I also will add some marks, with pencil, whiteout pen or fine line markers before adding the final layer, which is the photographic image through an acrylic medium transfer process.”
Kelly’s unique processes allow her to embrace the uncertainty inherent creating. “Because of the ways the layers are applied in both these processes, there is always a little bit of mystery as the work develops and this is what really motivates me in creating the next new piece.”
As for inspiration, Kelly finds interesting subjects wherever she goes. “I always have my camera with me when I’m out for a walk with the dog. There is usually something catching my eye…a group of weeds, branches on a early budding tree, shadows, and interesting angles and lines creating by old buildings and structures.”
Kelly’s artwork captures both the eye and the imagination.