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2020 Expressions Artists

Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson
Kansas City, MO

Painting is my way of expressing beauty as I wish to see it in the world, and it is my way of working through feelings that I sometimes don’t understand or even have full access to. When I sit down to paint, especially if I am working in watercolor, I often use a reference image to springboard off of. However, the reference image usually becomes secondary to the fluid process of letting my intuition guide my hand and my color choices. Although I have the technical ability to paint photorealistically, I typically choose not to. My practiced knowledge of color and form simply allows me to engage the parts of myself that need expression or therapy. I work in many layers, allowing the work to build and change over time. I find the most energy and drama in contrasts of color, value, and form, and I love to emphasize them.

As a painter with a severe physical disability, as well as a neurological diverse brain, I often struggle to get my work out into the world as often as I’d like. For me, painting is the easy part. Because my energy is limited, I don’t participate in shows or events regularly. Being a part of Expressions will allow me to show my work, interact with other art-lovers, and engage people who are also at the intersection of art and disability. My disabilities and my creativity are inseparable from my being, and I would appreciate the chance to be a part of an exhibition that embraces both parts of me.