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Art & Life with Kelly Hieronymus

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Hieronymus.

Kelly, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Oof – I have made and created things for as long as I can remember – which makes for many different unique stories and phases of art in my life. My story currently revolves around bird’s eye views. Before I met my husband, I was doing extremely abstract paintings of the world from above. When we met, he introduced me to the world of small aircraft and I was enthralled with the land below our wings. I had the opportunity to regularly survey and study the land which lead me to create more refined images of the land from above.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
The art I make is based on my love affair with the land in Illinois. When we are in the air, I am mesmerized by the way the crops made their impact on the ground. It is the borders, the roads, the tree-lines, the patterns the machinery makes, the paths cows and deer take to and from. I fantasize about painting each field – pink, purple or green and that inspiration follows me to the studio.

I focus primarily on acrylic on wood and gouache on board. My wood paintings start by taking a neutral and an extreme color and getting them down on a wood plank. I let those two colors determine what color I use next. When I am satisfied with the resulting color combinations (which can take 50+ layers of paint) I carve between the lines. The lines are made using a linocut tool, where I let the natural grain of the wood determine how the line presents itself. The color between the carved lines represents the fields of the farmland in Illinois and the carved lines are the roads, boundary lines, power-lines, and tree lines that separate each field.

The paintings on board are a more ‘realistic’ representation only because I use google maps to render my paintings in the correct proportions. They are the result of my ‘coloring book’ fantasy I have when we are flying. The colors are bold and I use black lines to exaggerate the borders of each field. The patterns you find within each field are my crops: corn, turnips, beets, or whatever I imagine growing there. My hope is that people take away a sense of wonder for the land around them… it is so easy these days to get lost in what is directly in front of you and lose sight of the beauty of everyday life. Sometimes, it just takes standing on your head or going for a bike ride to get a new perspective on life.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
We live in the age of instant gratification and the constant consumption of imagery, which I think it makes difficult for artists to sell physical work or it allows someone to discover an artist and begin a collection of their work. Who knows – there aren’t any rules anymore! For me, I think success has a lot to do with perspective. I feel that my practice is successful, but I set realistic and achievable goals for myself. Of course, I would love my art to impact everyone – but it’s the one-to-one interaction that drives me to continue making and showing my work.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can find my work on my website, or on Instagram @design.sunshine. If someone is interested in something they see, reach out either using my contact page or a DM on Instagram!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Justine Bursoni

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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