~Kelly Kiss, Mixed Media & Oil Nature Inspired Art~
Kelly makes her home on Salt Spring Island in beautiful British Columbia Canada. She was raised on the west coast of BC, however seven years ago fulfilled a twenty-five-year dream of moving to the Gulf Islands. Her love of art began at a young age, and she remembers spending hours perfecting her drawings and learning basic skills through books her parents would purchase for her. Kelly’s formal art training did not begin until later in life, graduating from the Fine Arts program at Langara College in Vancouver, BC in 2001. Soon after completing this program, she put her passion for art on hold to focus on raising her son, and a career in healing and wellness. In June of 2020 Kelly decided to follow her heart and pursue a life-long dream of becoming a professional artist. She courageously let her business go, and enrolled in the Mastery program through the Milan Art Institute. Graduating in June 2022, she now dedicates herself to her artwork and Forest Therapy practice, full-time.
Kelly has a strong connection to nature and her art reflects the happiness and support she receives from time spent outdoors—she has been told by many that her art “tugs at their heart strings, and makes them feel happy, uplifted, and alive.” She describes her art style as “abstract expressionism" as she loves bright, cheerful colours, and experimenting and playing with layers; incorporating many mediums into her artwork: pastel, collage, pen, ink, graphite, acrylic, spray paint and oil paints. Her abstracts are created intuitively, as she allows the painting to evolve in its own way, playing with line, texture, dripping paint, scribbling, and adding collage elements. She also loves to collect unique papers for her collage layers, and is always on the hunt for something interesting. Kelly's favourite part of the process is completing the finer details and accentuating the colour with oil paint. She loves the vibrancy and juiciness that this creates and feels like the painting really comes to life!
Kelly’s process begins outdoors by slowing down and being present with the trees, plants, flowers, insects, and other nature beings. Walking slowly or sitting by the ocean, in a field of tall grasses or in the trees, ignites her creativity and rejuvenates her. The feeling state inspired by these moments is then expressed in her work. Sometimes she journals and sketches, or captures a photo of the moment, and then uses this as a beginning point for her paintings. When painting in her small studio in the woods, she enjoys listening to the sound of the birds singing, the leaves rustling in the wind, and the rain falling on the roof on wet rainy days. Kelly is also a Certified Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides and programs, and offers guided forest bathing experiences through her business Salish Sea Nature Connections. It was through the regular practice of forest and nature therapy that Kelly's creativity was reignited, and she began painting again after a twenty-year hiatus. This summer she is planning on creating a series of “plein air” paintings, as well as a series of workshops that combine both her love of art and forest therapy.
Mixed Media & Oil Nature Inspired Artist
Art studio in the woods when it was first being built and my huge easel!
Misty helping in the studio.
Spending time and collecting inspiration, at Burgoyne Bay & Ruckle Park on Salt Spring Island.