Quarto Creates | 25 Aug, 2021
Meet Kellee Wynne Conrad
Kellee Wynne Conrad is a fourth-generation artist who grew up with art as part of her daily life. She worked for many years in the design industry creating trade products, running workshops, and having her work published. One day, however, she had the overwhelming desire to return to her roots in fine art and painting and went full speed ahead with her art career. We asked Kellee a few questions about her artistic process.

Quarto Creates: When did you first become interested in mixed media?

Kellee Wynne Conrad: I’ve always been an artist, but during the years my sons were young I did a lot of scrapbooking. Coming back to a regular art practice in 2011 meant figuring out how to incorporate my love for painting with the materials I had been using in the previous decade. It was a natural transition to mixed media art.

QC: Who was your most influential teacher, and why?

KWC: My Great Uncle Earl, a lifetime professional painter. I even dedicated my book to him. He has now passed, but his legacy continues. When I was a child I still remember him taking the time to teach me how to oil paint on the front porch of his home in Mariposa, CA. When I came back to painting a decade ago I went to visit him at his home in Bellingham, WA and it was transformative – it was from that moment on I knew I would go full force ahead with my art career. I remember talking about all the things I was reading and looking at online and dreaming about, and he told me to put the books and screen down and just paint. Paint 100 paintings and then 1000 and then I would begin to understand. So I got to work…

QC: Where do you find your inspiration for your art?

KWC: Everywhere! Nature, travel, museums, city streets and backyard picnics. A lot of my inspiration comes from working with and learning from other artists. Naturally I’m very drawn to color, so I’m always on a quest to find the rainbow – anything colorful will spark the next idea!

QC: What is the  most important lesson you have learned from creating?

KWC: To trust myself. I’m not going to find the answer outside of myself and my own experience. Maybe I draw inspiration and skills from others, but when it’s just me and the canvas I need to tune it all out and just paint the way that I paint – my voice, my hand, my mark, my vision. This is the same for life. The answers are within. Trust yourself, you’ll know what to do.

QC: What is the biggest challenge you face while working on an art project?

KWC: Motivation to get started. I have so many other hats that I wear running a business that making time for art has been taking a back seat. I really have to clear my schedule, clear my mind and clear my studio to get started. And this is the exact opposite of what I teach others to do…I need to heed my own advice – Just Make More Art!

Learn more about Kellee’s work on Instagram @kelleewynnestudios and online at www.kelleewynnestudios.com/Kellee is the author of Mixed Media Color Studio.