How long have you been a part of Artistic Portland, and what appealed to you about joining the Co-op?
I joined Artistic Portland in February 2014. At first I was drawn to the idea of having a place to display and sell my art, but I quickly realized that being a part of a community of artists is even more appealing. Like most artists, I spend a lot of time alone in my studio. I didn't realize how the encouragement and camaraderie of the other artists would become so important to me.
Where are you from?
Although I was born in California, my family moved to the Portland area when I was seven, so I consider myself an Oregonian.
What jobs have you had other than being an artist?
I worked in the public school system for many years, first as a parent volunteer and later as a paraeducator. As a parent volunteer, I initiated and ran a visual arts program in my kids' elementary school, as well as working as a math and reading tutor. After that I worked as a paraeducator (like a paralegal, but in education) working with students with special needs. Also during this time, I was teaching art classes in my home studio. A few years ago, everything fell into place and I now get to be a full-time artist!
How would you describe your artistic style in three words?
I would probably describe my current work as Meditative, Inspiring, and Intricate.
Where does the name "Seven Stars Studio" come from?
The name for my business, Seven Stars Studio, is mostly symbolic, Seven represents completeness or wholeness. Stars represents wisdom or knowledge. And Studio is easier to say than atelier!
What appeals to you about your chosen medium - drawing with ink?
I enjoy working with pen and ink and paper because of their many, many attributes. There is such a lovely range of types of paper and pens that with a little experimenting I can always achieve the exact effect I desire. And because they blend so well with other media I am always discovering new things!
What frustrates you about the creation process?
Learning how to not let the creation process frustrate me is an emerging skill. I am learning how to embrace the process, to let the piece grow within a general framework. I have found I like the piece better when I let myself be inspired as the piece develops.
Where do you create?
My studio is in our home in Beaverton. It is in a small bedroom with fabulous natural light. It is big enough for my workspace and to store all my art supplies.
What do you like to do when you're not drawing?
Sometimes I take a break from the studio for other activities, I enjoy sewing clothes and teaching others how to sew. I love to read, usually murder mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, or biographies. When the weather isn't too damp, I go for long, meditative walks. A couple of times a week, my husband and I go out swing dancing. I love to go to the Seattle area to visit our daughters and their families.
If you could wake up tomorrow with a new artistic skill, what would it be?
The one artistic skill I wish I had would be a more finely tuned visual memory. To be able to see something and remember all the details later would be amazing.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
Something most people don't know about me is that I really enjoy baseball, I am a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs. I love the byplay between the pitcher and the batter, and a spectacular catch in the outfield or a brilliantly turned double play fills me with joy! Some of my best work has been created while the Cubbies play ball!
Stop by Artistic Portland any day of the week 10 am - 6 pm (noon-5 pm on Sundays) to see and purchase Kelly's work in person!