Kelly Barone CZT, is an art educator, and artist who loves to play with new ideas. Working in watercolor, pen and ink, botanical alchemy and illustration, nature has a heavy influence on much of her work. She has taught and exhibited both domestically and internationally in multiple mediums and regularly works with varied populations. Owner of Whimsy by Kelly, you can find her in her studio located in the historic district of Allentown in Downtown Buffalo NY inside Hiraeth House. “I believe art is for everyone, my youngest student is 4 and my oldest is 97. You can do this, you just have to remember that your imagination is magic”
I'm pretty sure I was born with crayons in my hand and I've wanted to "be an artist" and make a living that way my whole life, instead I took the fast track in the corporate world. Even then I looked for every opportunity to showcase my creative side, which lead me to the realization that I already AM an artist. I've known since I was 5 that I wanted to paint and draw things. It took me a long time to get here but I finally do it, all day long!
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Buffalo, and I've been lucky enough to see all different corners of the world which give me a great deal of inspiration and wanderlust, all while feeding my creative side.
I have more ideas than I know what to do with, and I'm always coming up with something new! I am primarily a paper artist and I find that I love to combine wet and dry. Experimenting with various mediums to highlight the world around me is my passion.
My work involves design, interpretation, inspiration and the ability to ‘paint’ with ink, watercolor, graphite, organic material or actual plants depending on my mood or current artistic inspiration.
Organic forms in nature inspire me. I love the fresh colors of spring and riotous chaos of autumn, the limitless shades of gray one may discover in my Buffalo winters, and the color of sunshine in the summer.
I love discovering similar patterns between objects and their relationship to each other. I am fascinated by patterns, as seen in my Zentangle® work, but which carries over into my other pieces as well
I consider myself a process artist: research, gathering, experimentation and play make up the core of my art practice. This behind the scenes work frees me to perform my creating intuitively and with spontaneity.
It is important to constantly ‘play’ and experiment with patterns, texture and found items to achieve the desired effect. It was the tactile aspect and the wild chaos mixed with specific chemistry that inspired me to learn more of this process of botanical alchemy and incorporate it into my work.
In addition to my formal education, I have built a solid base in design, developed a broad and well-respected knowledge of materials, mark-making and creative application techniques. Currently I teach workshops at my studio in Kenmore, NY as well as at local galleries and retreat centers.
Over the years, I have taught for various organizations throughout New York, at the Carey Center for Global Good, as well as at various retreats throughout North America.
My work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.
I am a member of Buffalo Society of Artists, Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society and The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.