Title: Before the Snow
Size: 40cm x 40cm
Medium: Acrylic on Board


About the Artist

Artist Biography

Kelly Stewart is from Sydney, Australia. She studied Design (Visual Communications) Hons in illustration at the Western Sydney University before moving to the UK in 2000 to pursue her career and to travel.

With a passion for traditional architecture, Kelly found herself in Edinburgh where the Gothic, Victorian and Georgian architecture provided endless inspiration.

Kelly joined Edinburgh Printmakers Workshop in 2001 and has focused primarily on the medium of screenprinting to this day. The screenprint process enables Kelly to combine drawings, mark making, textures, and handwritten text into a single image through a series of layers, sometimes up to 20 different layers in each print. It is a passion that has resulted from continued experimentation with layers and introducing found textures and pattern.

In 2021 Kelly dedicated a year towards her painting practice and studied full time painting at Leith School Of Art in order to focus on the language of painting and to build up her response to the medium of acrylic and oil.

This opportunity has opened up many aspects of her practice that will no doubt feed into her print practice and vice versa.

Kelly continues to make limited edition prints and paintings for galleries and private commissions.

Artist's Statement

My painting is inspired by the landscape, in particular the landscape as seen from above and the more abstract it appears the further away it gets. I’m interested in the themes that come from painting aerials such as compartmentalisation and the thought of lay lines running through the earth like veins of energy.  I look for the angular, geometric layouts of fields and roads, interconnected by organic lines often created by paths, streams and rivers. I work with contrasting shifts of colour, pattern, or texture within the landscape. Quite often it’s the presence of a road or a waterway that divides the shapes, like a drawn line across a canvas.

I work in acrylic and oils, depending on how urgently I need to get the paint down to express an idea. I love the process of applying and removing oil paint to watch how the painting transforms, pushing and pulling the language of the marks. For me, mark making, line and composition are of utmost importance in my work.

The first time I experienced aerial photography was when I was flying over Siberia on a flight from Japan to the UK. It was winter and the vast snowy white landscape below provided the white backdrop which was broken up by winding frozen streams and clusters of woodland that from afar resembled a charcoal drawing. The camera underneath the plane was capturing moving compositions as it flew across the landscape. It took about 3 hours to fly over Siberia and I was glued to the screen for the entire duration. This experience became transformative for my work. Nowadays I use a drone to gain aerial perspectives that inform my paintings.