Featured artist: Kris Kennedy

“Things happen for a reason” has been my motto in life and becoming an artist was just another one of those “things” that kick started a whole new direction for me. In truth, flying off my deck, in the first ice storm of our 2017/2018 Canadian winter, resulted in a broken foot, an air cast, and being stuck in the house looking for something to stave off boredom.

Acrylic pour over clay pots by Kris Kennedy
Acrylic pour over clay pots by Kris Kennedy

Investigating art supplies and interests while convalescing

While surfing Pinterest on one of those long endless days of convalescence, I became curious about alcohol inks. They were easy to order online and have delivered to my door so I felt it was something that I could learn and have fun with while stuck in the house.

Shortly after receiving the order, I dedicated one room in the house for art, and spent many hours playing with my new art supplies.

Since then, I have also taken watercolour courses with a local artist.

Although I love alcohol inks and watercolour, and still work with them, acrylics now excite me the most.

Versatility of acrylics

I’ve been working with heavy body, soft and fluid acrylics over the past ten months or so as I experiment and refine my style.

I am inspired by nature in everything I do so whether it is an acrylic pour, an abstract painting, skins or jewelry, all of my work tends to be landscapes, flowers with a few surprises thrown into the mix.

Mystic Woodland acrylic pour by Kris Kennedy
Mystic Woodland acrylic pour by Kris Kennedy

Surprises in acrylic pours

Passionate Seas acrylic pour by Kris Kennedy
Passionate Seas acrylic pour by Kris Kennedy

However, quite inadvertently, art ghosts have inhabited my work over the past six months. As I play with my acrylic pours and skins, creatures from horror movies, ghostly images in shrouds visit me. How can I not get excited and use those apparitions in my creations? One never knows who or what will show up in the acrylic pours on any given day.

Acrylic pours are a challenge: I’m always trying out a new blend of mediums to paints with the perfect ratio, different substrates (birch panels, canvas and tile) and colour mixing. There are many failures but also many wins. Acrylic pours are, in many ways, unpredictable.

Once the pour has been completed, there are a lot of drippings on the side of the substrate. It is a messy process but the advantage is that there is more potential art material to play with! The acrylic paint left over on the art table dries and one can find all kinds of swirls and designs and colours in the “skins” that are the by-product of a pour.

Finding new ways to use leftover acrylics

Like most other artists, I don’t want to waste any materials and so I searched for ways to use all the overflow acrylic that was left from my pours. Surprisingly, the leftover acrylic can be used to make beautiful jewellery by dipping glass cabochons in the leftover dried acrylic paints.

The new appearances in a skin, or serendipitous patterns when I dip and twist a glass cabochon in acrylic paint, makes this art form so rewarding and exciting.

Snap jewellery is versatile and unique!

After much experimentation, I discovered snap jewellery for my one-of-a-kind creations.

Snap jewellery is exactly what it implies: an interchangeable setting with a snap. This type of setting allows the client to choose a different cabochon featuring my art to match the wearer’s clothes on any given day, and simply snap the cabochon into the holder.

Believe me when I say you will never find another identical piece, particularly when it is a ghost! I have found icebergs, bears, suns, moons, as well as landscapes and faces in the skins.

Growth as an artist brings about other changes.

Certainly, the past ten months have been a journey in self-discovery.

It has been a challenge to decide where to focus my energy as an artist.

A recent decision to narrow my third-party POD companies to just one has been a time saver. Another big step for me was joining Instagram, but I’m having fun now, and getting my Etsy shop up and running last month was another big shift. I can’t wait to see how I continue to grow as an artist!

Next week's post will demonstrate acrylic pouring experiments. Do leave a message for Kris below this post or contact her by clicking on one of the links.

Website: https://kekennedyfineart.com

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KEKennedyFineArt

Art of Where: https://artofwhere.com/artists/kekennedyaiart

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeKennedyfineart

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/KeKennedyfineart

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/KEKennedyPhoto

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