I notice nature’s subtleties (lichen, alluvial fans, the skeleton of a decaying leaf) when I am out walking, hiking, wading in the shallows of a lake - and painting.
My smaller works are what I call pressings. They are gessoed panel pressed into a calculated conglomerate of spilled media. Pressings are reminiscent of what might be found in a slice of compacted earth and often reveal organic/fossil-like shapes – Or if you can imagine a miniature installation on a worn granite boulder consisting of moss, sand, decaying leaves and tiny twigs.
When I paint I make intuitive or measured responses to media of varied viscosities to pave a landscape that I feel parallels the things that I see when I am out enjoying nature. I tend to play on spirals and orbs, relating them to earth, cycles and life. I am inclined to respond with other mark making too – from a fine, subtle scoring on paper that allows the pigment of the ink to settle into its rut, to a large swipe of black media, demanding notice. I think I incorporate the forced contrast of this mark making with the organic feel in each piece to remind us that beauty and nature are always blemished by our human marks, but there is such beauty in the pairing of these contrasting realities.
~ Kelli J. DePue
Enjoying the sun while camping next to the colorado river near Moab
Kelli was born in 1966 and raised in Montana, one of the most visually beautiful places there is. And this is where she began her love of the outdoors. She spends her summers outdoors, camping, hiking & rafting/floating.
Kelli’s paintings are a reflection of experiences in the outdoors. She translates what she has seen and felt on a macrocosmic level (textures, color, thought, what things are made of, cycles and decay) as well as grandiose events, (the land and sky as a whole and the amazing show
it puts on).
Kelli has been painting professionally for more than 10 years, but has created artwork in one form or another (realism) since junior high school. She received her Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the University of Montana in 2005, where she studied under David James, an abstract expressionist artist whose work emphasizes process and experimentation.
Her recent landscape paintings are her interpretive response to the experiences she has had in the outdoors of Montana and Arizona.
Kelli has been in solo and group exhibitions in Montana, Utah, Los Angeles and Arizona, and has collectors strewn across the U.S. and Dubai. Her work has been the featured cover art for Montana’s Cultural Treasures magazine in 2011 and 2014.
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