abstract

that dark dreadful something

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Sometimes you feel that dark dreadful something in your gut eating away at your insides, scratching to get out, threatening to scream…

Maybe it’s just Friday.

proceed - Kelly L. Taylor
oil on canvas (2012)

 

 

Clairsentience–The Artwork of Kelly L. Taylor– a solo show at Delurk

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My latest show opened on Friday, March 4th during Winston-Salem Art District’s monthly gallery hop. Delurk Gallery became the temporary home for some of my most beloved objects.

Little Boots and Granpas Pipe is Missing-KellyLTaylor

My paintings (still life and abstracts) were combined with installations, recreating familiar moments in a grandparent’s home–like playing on a knit quilt the floor as a child, viewing vintage and antique items arranged in an heirloom glass door shelf, or the surreal scenario of self as a clown in front of a dressing table.

Three Graces Watch Over... KellyLTaylor

GatherRoundTheRadio-KellyLTaylor

Reflection-KellyLTaylor

The items brought the viewer back to a familiar past; the paintings activated their imaginations. A group of young men stood around, intently examining each one of my paintings and discussing them, sharing what stories were conjured in their minds when they looked at my work.

A couple of women commented on my painting of a clown toy, asking if the bells on his pants were strategically placed by me–they were amused by what the placement made them think of. They thought it was playful and fun. 

I was delighted by the number of people who looked and smiled, reminiscing. Many read my statement, nodding unselfconsciously, and connecting with my sentiment.  People were loving my work and asking who the artist was, eager to meet me, ask questions, and share their reactions. It was overwhelmingly positive. I felt like a star!

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Nydorf-Taylor March 2016

Expressionist Abstracts for a Sunday Morning and the Inspiration of Hans Hofmann

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I was highly influenced by the work of abstract expressionists such as Franz Kline, Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and particularly Hans Hofmann. Hofmann’s no-nonsense lifestyle (He was very focused and devoted to his work and his teaching, dedicated to his wife, and not clutched in the grips of addiction and alcoholism–He was one of the lucky ones.) proves that you don’t have to be a tortured and troubled soul in order to create excellent work.

Although my work did not look directly like Hofmann’s, I was greatly influenced in the way that I allowed the energy to flow through my paintings and worked to guide it with compelling composition, my work was much darker than Hofmann’s–literally and metaphorically. 

I collected books about Hofmann and spent hours admiring his work, mesmerized in front of his paintings in museums, and studying his philosophies on the making of a picture. I imagined how wonderful it would have been learning from Hofmann, studying in his Provincetown studio, being one of the attentive students watching him demonstrate technique in one of the black and white photos that immortalize him. 

Very shortly after I met Jeff (my late fiancé and utter soul mate) he wanted to introduce me to one of his most cherished friends. This woman was an accomplished abstract painter and Jeff thought we’d have a lot in common. And, of course, we did. We were kindred spirits with similar painting styles and ways of existing in this world. As it turns out, she studied under a woman who studied directly under Hans Hofmann! Fate, kizmet, the universe showing you that you’re doing exactly what you were made to be doing, all that jazz…I discovered a direct line from my most admired inspiration, or it discovered me. It felt magical!

Previously I painted strictly abstract works directed by emotion and energy, my desire to touch a magical place, or to intentionally bring light into my world. Now I have a profound affinity for things–preserving them, allowing them to tell us their stories; they find their way into dramatic still life pictures. I incorporate abstract elements into my still life works at times and still paint purely abstract works at other times.

 

“Before returning to college, Kelly had a self taught career as an abstract painter and worked and exhibited her paintings in several downtown Greensboro settings. These paintings are powerful and energetic and about light and darkness. One of her challenges as a painter is to incorporate the energy of her abstract paintings into her still life paintings. Since her graduation with a BFA in Painting from Guilford, she has continued to paint in a similar vein to her thesis but with more humor and invention.”

–Adele Wayman, H. Curt and Patricia S. Hege Professor of Art, Emeritus

Patience and Process and Painting with Oils

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replication-KellyLTaylor copy          samsara - Kelly L Taylor

They say you need patience to paint with oils. “Oh, oils are hard,” they say. “You need to use dangerous chemicals. It takes too long to dry. It’s easy to turn it all into mud.” It’s all worth it to me. I start a painting, set it aside, let it dry some, work on an alternate painting, go back to the first one…

The first time I smoothed oil paint on a canvas it felt so natural to me; Previously I had been working so hard (with various mediums, water, utensils, etc.) to make acrylic paints do what oil paints do naturally. I found a medium I truly loved to work in. It felt so good. I wondered why I waited so long to try oils. Why had I been intimidated by something new?

My abstract process consisted of layers and layers of paint mixed with various amounts of cold wax medium, adding, scraping off, revealing things beneath, getting lost in the magic that happens in texture and color interactions, light and shadow. But somewhere around the middle of a painting it would start to feel like hell. The painting would come to a stage where it just looked and felt horrible. Each time I had to remind my self “This is your process, remember? Move through it. Just keep working.” And eventually I would come out the other side feeling good about the painting, loving what was happening on the canvas.

Metaphor for life? For the inevitable darkness we need to trudge through sometimes? Maybe that’s why I’m good at this painting thing. I’m not sure where I got the courage to face the scary stuff, to know I needed to go straight through it, to confront it, to keep reaching toward the light, in order to persevere.

appartition-Kelly L Taylor

I’m Featured Artist at Chakras Spa in March. Opening Reception Friday March 6th

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InstallationChakras2-15-KellyLTaylor

It was a great show and a fun first friday/opening event. I love Chakras!

Abstract – Spring 2014

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No intention. Movement. Make a mark. Meditative but spontaneous, energetic, allowing. Step back and look. Feel. Respond. I let go and let things happen and accept and interpret later. 

A flame emerges, then a figure behind it. Light requests to be present on the second canvas. The same colors start to appear in both canvases, a tiny echo of one in the other. Lots of layering and light and dark colors create depth and space. Bold brushstrokes and palette knife marks contrast with subtle detailed areas.

And I get lost in the marks I’ve made – masses of of smooth color and the interaction of the colors.

Two paintings. One darker, almost ominous, visceral. One lighter, earthier, greener.

       KellyTaylor green abstract KellyTaylorbluered abstract

Advanced Studio Work – Fall 2014

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A misappropriated menagerie of items: a puppet, a porcelain doll, a sewing box, a brass bell, an iron parrot – remnants of my childhood where dysfunction is the family heirloom. These objects are combined with abstract elements, integrating still life and abstract expression, recreating childhood scenarios.

I work on both the abstract and the representational alternately in order to help them harmonize, to create a transition between these elements that is both convincing and dysfunctional. I invent still life environments on the canvas, emphasizing light and shadow, with disjointed plains, to foster feelings of dissociation. Abstracted items convey a lack of object constancy. Are these environments real? Are people or objects consistent, trustworthy, reliable? …Questions a small child ponders while learning to navigate in the world and realize their place within it.

These works encourage you to question the validity of your own perceptions, and also to reminisce. Whimsical clowns and a coquettish kewpie doll instill a sense of childish playfulness, asserting that there is still good among the wreckage.

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No4         You're gettin just like the rest of em - Kelly L Taylor copy