Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Sheehan.
Kelly, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’m originally from Virginia, just outside of Washington. D.C. My love of collage and “bringing the pieces together” began at an early age with quilting and sewing with my mother and grandmother. Since childhood I’ve been intrigued by cutouts and the works of Henri Matisse. My family frequently went to the National gallery when I was a child. I was drawn to the colors and the size of his work and I got lost in the art and ways he produced work known as “painting with scissors.”
I attended Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia; George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia (B.A.) and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia (M.S.). I worked as a graphic designer, an interactive media designer and a creative director for technology companies here in Atlanta. After marriage, a career in technology, and having children, I decided to focus on what I love which is to paint.
I work in my home studio and am surrounded by an active household of my husband, my four kids, and my dog.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Having spent so many years working as a graphic designer, there was a natural transition from graphic design to working in collage.
The similarities are easy to see: in graphic design I used images and text, moving them around on an art board (software) to create a finished piece. Now when I do my collage pieces, I get a similar feeling by taking physical pieces of painted paper or fabric and moving them around on a canvas.
I start with an idea (a landscape or a subject) and the colors I want to use. I use gouache paint on my collages exclusively for the matte finish the paint creates. I take a large pieces of watercolor paper and paint each one a different color depending on the palette I’ve chosen. Then I take a white board, scraps from past efforts, and start cutting and moving the pieces around. I love the element of surprise when two colors work together that I hadn’t predicted or when a composition comes together that I hadn’t anticipated.
More recently I’ve started using my completed collages as design studies for painting oils on canvas. Since I’ve already created a composition in collage that I’m happy with, I use that as the basis for my oil painting. It’s never identical, and I don’t want it to be, but it provides me with a good start.
I’ve had people over the years tell me that my art makes them happy. I love hearing that. My long term goal is to have that type of lasting effect on people.
How can artists connect with other artists?
For years I was in an art gallery co-op here in Decatur. I met the most amazing artists there and we all still keep in touch. Occasionally I’ll do an art show and talking with customers and meeting other artists can keep me on a high for months. Getting involved with art events, even minimally, can make a big difference.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I currently have my work for sale at Westside Market Toco Hills.
Westside Market Toco Hills
2943 N. Druid Hills Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
- Website: http://www.kellyayerssheehan.com/
- Phone: 4045399240
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: Art by Kelly Ayers Sheehan