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Art & Life with Kelly Dillard

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

Kelly, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Art has always been a source of enjoyment for me. I grew up in a household where we appreciated art. My mother is very artistic and we often had different art projects going on, but I never understood the deeper values and importance of art or thought about art as a career choice until later in my life. In the beginning, I took a few art courses here and there just for something to do, but a love for the arts arose and my art transitioned from a hobby into a career choice. In the past, I have taught various children’s’ art classes, special needs art classes, and senior living art courses. Teaching led me to realize the value of art in all aspects of life and how art can be therapeutic.

I am a self-taught artist, but over the years have taught courses as well as taken courses at various locations. My art is ever evolving; I enjoy learning new techniques and styles. In art, there is always something new to learn as well as new ways to expand and progress.

The subject and style of my art has transitioned over the years. I am influenced by my surroundings: whether that is the flat vastness of West Texas, the architecture of New Orleans, the hustle and bustle of city life in Houston, or the dramatic cliffs of Scotland. When we have moved to a new city, my subject matter has had to alter; therefore, my art has been adaptive and flowed along with the various locations. For instance, when I was in Houston, I was leaning more towards abstraction in my paintings, then when I moved to Scotland my art leaned more towards the landscapes. Now that I am back in Texas I am somewhere in the middle. I am painting abstracts again and my landscapes are an expressive abstraction of the land.

The Piney Woods of East Texas are a current influence on my art, but I also spend a lot of time in the mountains of Ouachita National Forest. These connections can be seen in my newer pieces.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Currently, my main focus is on painting- in oils or mix medium and occasionally acrylic. In the past, I have worked in various mediums including watercolor and egg tempera.

My paintings tend to fall into two categories: abstract or landscape abstract. The landscape of the environment serves as my muse. This could be anything from travels to where I am living. For instance, some people will claim that West Texas is flat and boring with no trees. In fact, there is even a town called Notrees! However, by stopping to look closely, one can find that colors actually radiate from the desolate plains, be it a sunset or a single flower.

I like to take that which is mundane and find the extraordinary in it. People often overlook the beauty right in front of them, but no matter where one lives in this world there is beauty; you just need to stop and reflect on the moment and time. It is important in life to have an appreciative mentality. This applies to all aspects of our lives.

There are some amazing photographers out there that can capture the most minute details. In my paintings, I veer from detail. I enjoy layering colors, scraping back, adding more color, gestural mark making, and much more. I strive not to create the reality of the scene, but rather the mood or feeling that is evoked in the moment. Some paintings lean towards an abstraction while others are more of an abstracted landscape, but all of my paintings are drawn from an experience.

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
To me, as an artist, my biggest challenge is being adaptive in an ever-changing environment. In the past galleries solely represented an artist. Artists could dedicate their time entirely to their work. In today’s world, with social media, artists must find alternative methods to showcase their work beyond a gallery experience. Artists must find the right balance between time in the studio and establishing a virtual presence.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can easily find me at

Follow me on social media:

• Instagram:

• Facebook:

Join me for my upcoming exhibit:

July 11, 5-8 pm,
Longview Art Walk as a featured artist at Longview Museum of Fine Arts.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kelly Dillard

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