A Letter from a Fan
Under the Evergreens
Born and raised in Washington State, Kell-y is a Pacific Northwest artist whose inspirations are drawn from the human experience, this green place itself, and the various extraordinary beings she shares her world, her home, and her life with. A remarkably adept student of human thought and culture, and the inhabitants of this sphere, Kell-y has applied extensive textbook and course study and the practical experience of her decades of animal rescue and then field learning, to her arts. She hopes to master the arts of falconry and wildlife rehabilitation.
“When I was 12, I started to recognize myself as an artist.”
The artist sold her first professional piece somewhere round’abouts 2009, a good dozen years after she had internalized the calling artist and eight years from a particularly powerful exemplar piece, her peregrine falcon, produced during one of the hardest times. By that first professional offering, Kell-y had already donated her art extensively, giving both individual pieces she’d crafted and offerings of time to create customized art inspired for specific people.
Then, she had already been experimenting with the varied forms of art for, maybe, seven or eight thousand days... Every day. Most of the time, Kell-y had a sketchbook in hand, smudges, well, everywhere, or some creative element about her play, her speculations, or her explores.
Kell-y has been contributing in animal rehabilitation, wildlife portraiture, educating and healing through her art for two decades.
“Primarily, I am a wildlife artist and illustrator.”
A watcher is always amazed. In a car seat, at a bus stop, twenty-minutes at a tiled coffee shop table with a bit of paper and a pen in hand, you look up to find a family of bears, an addled hedgehog or a humble mouse looking back at you from the page.
A well-rounded and exploratory artist, Kell-y has found some of what there is to love in dozens of mediums, spending years experimenting with ink, pencil, colored pencil, charcoal, and then pastel, acrylic, watercolor, and digital painting, and airbrushing. Briefly oil. The artist spent time in soapstone and wood carving, and time in basket weaving, stamp block printing, beading. She sews, she crafts. She explores biomimicry. Budget permitting, she practices resin casting, and molding. Kel is self-taught.
The artist crafts in stories, too, having written one fiction novel, currently under edit, and explored many other themes. She offers narratives to the LARP community, and crafting for characters. Her word-craft is quite as eye-catching, personally shifting and entertaining, as the arts of her hands. She has a particular art with names.
A wonderful relationship with Gargoyles, in Seattle, afforded her the opportunity to explore her sculpting, like her Impossums and little Cthulies, and mask-making. She's shared some of her love of geekery, sci-fi, and fantasy at Norwescon and other venues.
Kel is excited to experiment with 3D scanning and printing, laser cutting, water-jet carving, and to one day master soldering. Wait until Kell-y has the resources, practice, and education, to offer us installation art, and bronze casting.
She plays with micas and patinas, brushing and finishes. Kel has experimented extensively in clay work, plasticene, polymer, pottery, epoxy, and pmc, learning the characters of each.
“I find them all interesting for different reasons.”
Kell-y has discovered silver to be her beguiling medium.
Art, Anthropology and Animals.
Kell-y complements her arts with her sciences, enjoying extensive studies and coursework in anatomy, physiology, biology, biomimicry, and wildlife rehabilitation... and her sciences with her humanities, being fascinated by anthropology, literature and psychology. Kel is widely studied and widely read. Alongside her rampant naturalist tendencies Kell-y's knowledge of animal anatomy and her unique personal empathy have always informed the artist’s work, given definition to each nuance of muscle and flit of expression.
Three decades of daily practice later, with extensive study, and the investment of every emotional strength, Kel has become an artist of skill.
As much as she loves the beings that swim, fly and run the actual earth, so too is she enraptured by the denizens of other spheres. Kel sculpts dragons, faerie and were-folk with a well-read, well-informed, and very friendly diplomacy. She 'went native' in the mystical long ago; which lends itself to her art.
Kell-y’s pocket-sized and alphabetized mythical creatures coloring book, the Abridged Bestiary Companion, is available from Amazon.
“There was nowhere to stop, I was so tired.
And the islands are getting fewer and farther between. Sometimes there aren’t any.”
She’s struggled with challenges, frustratingly limiting disabilities, decades of rarely-reprieving fear and pain, and has learned from them, from her multi and varied pursuits, from animals she’s rescued from varied states of hurt, and from friends in the struggle, a constant resilience, and a million healing mediums, which she applies to herself and others freely.
Kell-y is a fierce advocate of equity and human rights. Attending Kel’s struggles as a disabled artist there is a need to help, to improve conditions. When 9-11 broke us all, Kel was barely weathering. Her peregrine sought the highest perch and survived. Her empathy has always been the source of her greatest wounds and, through giving care and contributing her art, the only balm. Kell-y is one of those people who has enough within them to be a philanthropist despite the tremendous lack of anything resembling even a budget.
Kell-y has provided her artwork, from custom illustrations of entire books to wildlife portraiture, sculptures and jewelry, by donation to numerous charity auctions throughout Washington state, such as the City of Bainbridge Island’s West Sound Wildlife Shelter, dedicated to giving injured, orphaned, and sick wild animals a second chance at life; A Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project; Lifewire, and The North Kitsap Options School annual Mystery Dinner Theatre, supporting student learning.
Kell-y created new works at custom request, and contributed several pages from her own journals, for practicing and aspiring biomimetics. Kell-y’s artwork has helped young learners of nature-inspired-innovation to understand the coding of information in DNA, as in the common squirrel monkey; penguin super-cavitation for underwater movement; mosquito proboscis function and the potential of those shapes and processes for medical and veterinary needles, and hundreds of other analogies, adaptations and inspirations.
Art for Learners
She has been an unfailing supporter of children’s creativity, learning, and love of art and nature for more than a decade. Whether she’s diagramming the cavity-compressing jet-propulsion of a flying squid, the lop-sided auditory planes of a barn owl, or the urban redesign potential in the wisdom of elephant behaviors, Kell-y’s energies flow to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Great Lakes Biomimicry, South Whidbey Parks and Recreation, North Kitsap Options program Green School Parent Project... Kel provided regional animal art templates to the art station of an Ohio EPA-Funded endeavor at the Panzner Wetlands, and University of Akron Martin Center for Field Studies at Bath led by Dr. Lara Roketenetz and her team, which supported thousands of inner city learners of color to reconnect with the outdoors. Kell-y's artwork adorns the cover for Great Lakes Biomimicry’s 2018 field journal in Ohio. Animal adaptation info she searched out and curated appears in Xeno's Outta Space, a wearable tech, math, and biomimetic invention game currently excelling in student play-tests. Even a decade ago, her work was featured in parks department mailers and hundreds of campers t-shirts on South Whidbey, Washington. She offers a small handful of workshops a year. Kell-y assists in the researching and editing of grants, creating opportunities for people to craft new programs and endeavors.
“I love to teach, learn, and laugh.”
Kell-y has dedicated years and years to animal rescue. Surrounded, in any given moment, by a pair of prairie dogs, a ferret, a clowder of cats, a pit bull or hedgehog, bearded dragon or corn snake, she has nursed injured dogs and raised kittens by bottle. One of her nearest and dearest furry friends was a young prairie dog with a congenital heart defect. Three-legged cats, incontinent German shepherds, and orphaned baby rabbits round out her family at any given time.
A walk along any street is an education. She knows the breed of every dog; identifies each bird, the seeds they eat, the nest they build, the care they need.
She is always a friend to the feathered, furred, scaled, and scintillating creatures who weave themselves into her heart and life. Have you ever friended a pill bug? They are exceptional.
Kel could write books of the endeavors and escapades of these furred folks, to complement her practical studies of arts, and of human healing.
Sometimes it is the ones who have the hardest time interfacing (and putting up with) with the real, or the current real, who have the keenest eyes for the not-yet and could-be, and what-if-there-were’s. The artist gives form to try to sketch out little slips and bits of better things. They construct, an expression maybe, or an alternative. They reach through the jagged and the broken to find the imagined bits in between and make new reality pieces from those.
Kell-y's humor is dry, wry, and quick; her empathy powerful; and her imagination magic. She makes wonderful pieces from those bits, and I am so glad she is always willing to share.
-- A most devoted and appreciative fan.