Member Interview: Kellie Weeks

Member Interview: Kellie Weeks

Where do you live and how did you get involved in art?

I was raised in Dracut, Massachusetts.  In my freshman year of high school I was really involved in the art program that they had there.  I remember being really enthralled by a book I found about Picasso and Cubism.  You could say he was my first influence.  I loved the color and composition he used in his paintings.  I recall too, a friend of mine dissing him because of his abstraction and saying how a two year old could do that!  How false that statement has come to be in my own investigation in abstraction. How sad I was when the art program was cut for the following year and years to come at the school.  I now live in Fitchburg but my studio is in West Concord, MA.

Apparition

Apparition, 30″ x 30″, encaustic on panel, 2012

I started working with wax about 7 1/2 years ago.  I took a workshop being offered in the medium and was extremely fascinated. I have been captivated by it ever since.  My process when creating art is a very intuitive one.  I usually start by just making marks or laying down color.  I then respond to these with yet more mark making.  I use a combination of wax, oil sticks, dry pigments, shellac, powdered graphite and gold transfers.  It is only until the painting is finished that I understand its full implications.  One example of a painting that I worked on and had no idea what it was until the end was “Apparition”.  It wasn’t until I put the final mark on the piece and stepped back that I realized it was a torso!  The work just flows from me. I do not try to direct it.  I hardly ever sketch or plan a painting in advance.  I like to let the energy in me just release itself into the painting.

I think I have mostly always worked in this fashion.  When I try to plan a piece the work tends to look a bit contrived versus when I just let it come to me.  I can have an idea in mind in conjunction with the materials I want to use that will help me create a work that fits within a series of works.

Becoming

Becoming I, 8″ x 8″, encaustic on panel, 2014

Most of my inspirations come from my relationships with both people and nature.  Right now I am working on a series of boxes…  I think they lend themselves to many things. First off, they tend to resemble the figure itself. But if we think about the box, a box is something we put things in. It is used to separate, to compartmentalize, to create boundaries. We do that with objects, yes. But what about feelings, memories, and thoughts? Are we in a way, “boxes”? In my imagery, these boxes lean on each other. Could these relationships be a supportive leaning or something negative? In the encaustic pieces, some of the actual structures seem to deteriorate, perhaps suggesting dissolving or uncertain relationships.

Becoming II

Becoming II, 8″ x 8″, encaustic on panel, 2014

Then we can think of what is inside verses outside the box. First, are we inside or outside the box? And then who, if anyone, is placing us there and just what does that mean?? Then there is the ritual of stacking the boxes, which suggests obsession and a sense of being overwhelmed. On the other hand, the boxes in these paintings are inclined to balance in space, suggesting a source of strength and stability.

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