S&S: Hello Kelly. Welcome to the new year! I’d like to start off by looking back at the important events of 2016. Did you meet your goals for the year? Was there anything that you feel has changed, or enhanced your art?
Kelly: Hello! It is always a goal to show my work throughout the year and have a piece sell. I displayed work at the Loft of Missoula, the ZACC, and the Stensrud Event Hall in 2016 and sold at least two paintings and several framed ink prints.
Anything that enhanced my art? Well, I’d say life. 2016 was an interesting year for most everyone. Lots of emotion which went straight into my work.
S&S: What are you looking forward to this year? New goals?
Kelly: In May, Candice Rhea and I will be doing a conjunctive showing at the Loft in Missoula. It’s a great space, large and open. I’m looking forward to that.
One of my goals this year is to get back into doing live art to live music. I’m an introvert for the most part. Though maybe with a little help from my friends I’ll be able to do this 🙂 My goals have always consisted of doing my best to vary my style, and I like to raise more questions (in the content of my work) than can be answered. The mystery awakens ~ but is never quite understood.
S&S: Please describe your type of art and the mediums you work within. Which medium is your favorite? What do you call your style?
Kelly: I utilize pastel, acrylics, and charcoal mainly using canvas, wood, or driftwood as a surface. My favorite is probably charcoal on paper. The dark on white background is very dramatic, and allows me to really show emotional content in my drawings.
I would say my style is abstract, sometimes with forms and figures based loosely in reality. Many of these have forms influenced by the female face and figure. I think it’s quite original myself. My work is kind of hard to explain though.
S&S: How long have you been an artist? What got you started?
Kelly: I have been working an artist since 1994 when I went to high school in Seneca Valley, Harmony, PA. Before that I was a flutist, in my former high school in Germantown, TN where I studied with a private instructor. My family moved approximately every two years while I was growing up. When I moved from TN to PA during my Sophomore year, I switched from the flute to art. I was clueless in another new school, and Josh Reynolds, as I recall, was the one who pointed me toward the art corridor. I was always a creative person, and James Rettinger was my first art teacher / artistic influence.
During the latter part of my high school career, I spent half my time in the art department working on a large multi-medium collage / mural on plexiglass. I would get passes to leave other classes to go work on art projects. The key was getting my school work done ahead of time so I could have the extra time in art. The collage turned out great and stood in the school lobby for a long time. Art class was the only place I felt half way comfortable. I loved the freedom of expression. .
At the time, I had a variety of body ailments due to stress, as well as my budding Bipolar situation. I will never forget how low the lows got. It was during this time that I began Art Therapy. Practicing Art Therapy is my kind of meditation. Creating art is very cathartic.
S&S: What inspires you to create? (nature, music, people, drama, zen gardens, what?)
Kelly: Music! The music I listen to is usually upbeat, or carries forward momentum. I prefer instrumental music as words can sometimes get in the way. Art as meditation and as therapy and healing are extremely important in my life.
S&S: Do you have a process? (Do you have to sing, chant, or scream before addressing the canvas? Do you dance while drinking a margarita, or do you just binge on coffee and chocolate to get revved up? (Personally, I favor the coffee and chocolate while writing 😉
Kelly: I have several processes for different artistic purposes. For mood, I enjoy a candle on, some incense lingering in the air, and music as preparation to get into “the zone” 🙂
S&S: I’m no artist, so can you tell me, what is “the zone”?
Kelly: The zone happens when I’ve relaxed into my creation enough to find figures, people, beings expressing themselves, showing their forms to me from within whatever I am working on. Once I find them, I just bring them forward.
S&S: Who are your favorite artists alive or dead? They can be from any genre or medium.
Kelly: My favorite artists include Montana’s Jay Rummel, Albert P. Ryder, and Picasso. Some of my most favorite artists are also good friends. For instance, Candice Rhea (Serenity Creations on facebook), and Akhilesh also on facebook.
S&S: What does art mean to you? Why do you do it?
Kelly: Art is my soul’s survival. Art is passion. Art is everywhere. The creation of art, for me, is “Emotion in Motion”, which is the collective title for my work.
S&S: If you could travel to any place / time for your art, where would you go and why?
Kelly: I would travel through my subconscious mind. Maybe then I would know which direction to start. I believe being in the “Right Time, Right Place” brings success. I would prefer to travel to the places where I wold be steadily successful with selling work. I would also like to travel to enrich my life and my art. I really do not have a definitive place in mind. Just the right time, right place!
S&S: And finally, do you have any special projects / charities you support?
Kelly: I do. I hold Art Therapy meetings at my home, as well as more informal “Arting” sessions. I work with both youth and adults.
S&S: Please describe an Art Therapy session. Is it in a group or more individuals?
Kelly: I’ve only hosted a few Art Therapy sessions. Mostly they’ve been individual based, but it’s possible to have groups. Depending on the situation, the person either brings their own supplies or they use what I give them, then they just begin. Sometimes they talk while creating, other times they are quiet.
Art can be very therapeutic as the act of creation is very empowering. A person can take something negative going on in their life and turn it into a positive, maybe even beautiful thing.
Abstract artist Kelly Loder certainly does this! Her creations are both beautiful and evocative. Thank you Kelly for sharing your talent with us.