Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Introducing Kelly Rae Cunningham

If you don't already know her work, let me introduce you to Kelly Rae Cunningham.

Triplicate, 2009 (image via kellyraecunningham.com)

Hi Kelly Rae!

You're currently finishing up your largest project to date. Would you talk about that project?

My most recent work is a commission of thirteen paintings by Harbor Properties for a new apartment building in West Seattle called
Mural. The commission includes twelve 20" by 20" acrylic and mixed media paintings for the six residential floors of the building (two in the hallway of each floor), along with a 12’ by 10’ acrylic and mixed media painting to be installed in the building’s main lobby entitled fantango.

This was by far the most challenging piece I have ever done, due to its sheer scale and size. With my existing studio not nearly large enough for something of this size, I finally found a location in the International District to work on the commission. The new studio alone changed how I create; with room for six 6’ by 5’ sectional canvases along with exceptional light and space, I found myself trying new styles and techniques and taking new risks with my work.

(image via artist)

How is your approach different when you're doing a commission versus your regular art practice? Do you find there's more pressure in a commission?

I was nervous with this project because there was a due date for the commission (I do tend to push the limits of a deadline). I started talking with Harbor Properties about this project in November 2007…What if what I am doing now is different from what I was doing then… What if they didn't like it? What if I didn't like it? I like to leave paintings alone for a while before I call them "done,” – I have a habit of bringing them home and living with them for a while before I let them go, which was not possible with fantango. I reworked the 12 smaller paintings many times, and even thought the designer liked them in the beginning stages, I didn't, so I painted over them. Ultimately, I loved having the time and space to work on so many different pieces at the same time. You can look at the progress of the commission on my blog. It will be installed at Mural in West Seattle in early May 2009.

(image via artist)

You can check out more of Kelly Rae's art at:

4521 California Avenue S.W.
April 2009

Juniper Flowers
308 W. Republican

Twilight Artist Collective
4306 SW Alaska / 1530 Post Alley # 4 Seattle

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