Hexicon-shaped frames of delicate watered-down paint on dyed paper next to larger works of bold stretched canvas, in “Chroma” Kelly Ording’s solo exhibition at PT2: Oakland Gallery, (1523b Webster Street), parts of the artist’s soul are revealed. Series of explorations, her paintings carry a moving motion, from the lines she draws that have no ending or beginning to the water marks of coffee she uses to dye the paper or canvas. Her paintings derive inspiration from geometry and architecture. Lines, curved and straight, create the dynamic between Blues, Grey and White tones with a pop of color, like saturations of Red, Pink and Magenta. Kelly Ording approaches her art in a meditative kind of way and experiments with color to create a magnitude of work.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to be a full time artist in the Bay Area,” says Kelly. “There are many aspects to being an artist.” Kelly can spend eight hours of her day coating layers of thin paint into lines for each of her paintings. “Working in different mediums is great because I always feel challenged and never get bored.” Each medium is unique and offered a new approach to her creative expression, she explains. Kelly paints on paper and canvas, and also works on larger-scope paintings and projects. She has recently created glass sculptures with moving parts that can be rearranged.
Image: Artist Kelly Ording in Residence at Local Language, Oakland, Calif. November, 2018.
When painting murals, the live interaction with people and being in the public eye, “can be an added pressure,” says Kelly, “to create something beautiful or thought-provoking. It can be challenging because you are navigating large walls with varying surfaces and sidewalks.” The environment takes part in the experience of painting the mural and the work being created. Kelly also worked on large scale public projects with fabricators, architects and art consultants. “It can be more collaborative in nature,” she says, “and often I get to create an artwork with a material that is completely new to me, which can be really satisfying.” Kelly completed a number of public projects in the Bay Area, a mosaic mural at Palega Recreation Center and the “California Summertime” on 593 Valencia Street in San Francisco to name a couple.
Growing up in an athlete-oriented family, Kelly spent most of her weekends playing sports and going to games. She studied ceramics in school, but she never thought of becoming an artist. “I was 18 years old,” she recalls standing in front of a painting by Joan Miro at a museum in London, “I was absolutely blown away by it,” she says. Since then, Kelly has been on the road to fulfilling her artistic practice. “I decided right then that I wanted to spend my life trying to make someone else feel the way that painting made me feel. I'm still trying to do that!”