I'M KELLY, A SELF-TAUGHT, MULTIDISCIPLINARY VISUAL ARTIST CREATING CONTEMPORARY, MINIMALIST B&W FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY AS WELL AS ORGANIC-TEXTURAL AND FLUID ABSTRACT ARTWORKS INSPIRED BY THE COAST - FROM LAND TO SEA.
Inspired by the Coast - from land to sea, I am drawn to the perfection of Nature and beauty found in the imperfect, from delicate to grandiose to those things left to ruin. Being visually tactile, I gravitate to organic forms and textural shifts created through luminosity and complexity of line & shadow. I am pulled to the lull of the ocean and the organic fragments it heaves upon the shore, to the cushion of warm earth and the endless life it spurs, and to the dark, dank corners and scarred walls of dilapidated spaces; I yearn for their quietude. Conveying the poetic stillness of these quiet spaces in my artwork is necessary and eases my soul.
Favoring the abstract nature and solemn, quiet beauty of B&W photography, it allows me to remove the extraneous while developing mood and a more emotive expression. I utilize modern-minimalist compositions, paring down abundant vistas in order to isolate my subjects and form candid and intimate moments of solitary intention. In addition to my equipment; weather, planning, and a great deal of patience are the most invaluable tools in my process. Seeking out the extraordinary in the ordinary, I offer a narrative to the static, creating a genuine engagement between the viewer and my subjects.
Using only professional grade, archival materials, my abstract works are a minimalist gesture of movement & texture. Working in acrylics & mixed media, I methodically build layer upon layer on the canvas to mimic the complex characteristics of terrain and atmosphere found in the very same landscapes & seascapes I capture behind the lens. As an intuitive Artist, I am mindful of composition but openly welcome fortuitous occurrences during the process. I utilize a curated, refined palette of neutral, muted hues, with only slight tonal shifts resulting in quiet, organic works. My fluid works require tremendous control and meticulous handling of pigments, as well as use of negative space, to ultimately achieve a sense of ethereal calm.
With genuine intention, through minimalist composition and a restrained palette, my works create mindfulness, an intimate sense of place, a tranquil moment where I want to connect with my audience somewhere within the quiet.
A life-long, self-taught, multidisciplinary visual artist producing fine art B&W photography as well as textural and fluid abstract artworks, Kelly O’Leary was born in Southern FL and raised in the Midwestern United States. As an adult, innumerable moves as a military spouse have taken her across-country, from mountain to sea and back again. After spending a great deal of time residing along the Georgia & Carolina coasts, she currently lives and works on the Northeastern coast of Florida.
Kelly is a true observer of the tactile nature of things, a seeker of light and shadow in our natural surroundings, particularly in her beloved Coastal environments. From childhood, she recalls not a single moment devoid of artistic expression, there was always a sibling in a nearby room dreaming, creating - a veritable patchwork of indelible memories. Formative years were turbulent and unsettling, art was always a means to escape the chaos. From drawing to sewing to music to painting; all therapeutic mechanisms. At a young age, Kelly became enthralled with the works of Ansel Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright, Georgia O’Keefe, Edward Weston, Andrew Wyeth, and even Alberto Vargas. She would peer into windows and roam the halls of the local art museum sitting mere yards from her childhood home. A poetic collaboration of influences fed Kelly's deep and profound love of fine art and design, her acute observation of fine details, and fervent desire to connect with our natural world and observe its quiet intricacies within her work.
While raising her family, Kelly has never stopped evolving as an Artist; she continued to research, explore, and experiment in her photography & across various art mediums, honing her techniques. Having first parlayed her innate skills into Interior Design and her first abstracts on canvas, she quickly became impassioned behind the lens. Her travels only expanded her purview and heightened her longing to create lyrical stories of our ephemeral world. Kelly's design background and affinity for the coast, significantly inform her work. Her soothing B&W photographic compositions, refined palettes and neutral hues of her abstract works, as well as her keen eye for balance and scale are all product of her strong sense of aesthetic.
Previously showing in a singular exhibit over a decade ago, Kelly formally emerged in late Fall of 2021, being accepted into her first international juried group photographic exhibit 'Abandoned: Time & Place' with The Chateau Gallery in Louisville, KY as part of the Louisville Photo Biennial. With numerous on-going projects, she continues to create and show her work, exhibiting in nearly two dozen international juried group exhibitions including 'The Ephemeral and The Evanescence' in Rome, Italy with LoosenArt and most recently, 'Open' with Decode Gallery in Tucson, AZ as well as being recently published in SHOTS Magazine, No. 158 Winter issue. Her work is held in a corporate collection in Englewood, NJ as well as with private collectors throughout the continental US.