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CAROLYN MARTIN KENNEDY: ONE OF "...THE VERY BEST OF EMERGING ARTISTS..."

 
 
"Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks." Mark Rothko
 

There has been nothing boring about the life of artist, Carolyn Martin Kennedy, and there is nothing boring about her art. “I’ve never let fear get in the way of what I wanted to do. My life has been full of adventures. When I wanted to live in a different place, I moved. When I wanted a different career, I went to college. When I wanted to travel, I went by myself. When I wanted a daughter, I adopted a baby girl from South Korea. When I wanted originality in my art, I experimented until I found it.”

Kennedy has been an artist for as long as she can remember. “One of my early memories is of my mother showing me how to properly draw legs on a girl wearing a dress. I was four.” Born in Livingston, Montana, Kennedy recalls happy days rollicking with her cousins on her grandparents’ farm. When she was eight, the family moved twenty-six miles away to the town of Bozeman, Montana. “It’s hard to imagine a better place to grow up than Bozeman.” She has an abundance of happy memories that include ice skating and biking with her younger sister, fishing and camping with her parents, spending hours in the public library, and, of course, drawing. “My mother wanted me to major in art. However, I needed a career that would provide a stable income because I had a child to support and so I became a nurse. But no matter what else I’ve done in my life, I’ve always worked as an artist. My art is my passion.”

Kennedy began painting when she was twenty. She started with oils and traditional subject matter. Her first sales were oil paintings sold door to door by her young son. When Kennedy adopted her daughter she switched to watercolor so the baby would not be exposed to the toxins associated with oil paints. Kennedy’s watercolors were exhibited in galleries in California. She sold paintings, received commissions and won awards.

In 2001, Kennedy got sick and was unable to paint until 2009. “Once my health improved, I realized that the years when I was too ill to paint had made me even more passionate and determined in regard to my art.”

In 2013 Kennedy switched from traditional watercolor to abstract acrylic. “I fell in love with all that acrylic has to offer, especially the opportunity to experiment.” Kennedy uses acrylic medium to create layers of colors and textures that often corporate non-traditional materials such as beads, metal, glitter and text. “It took a leap of faith to begin adding things like glitter to my paintings. However, the results I’ve gotten have convinced me that the risk was worth the reward.”

In 2015, Kennedy’s beloved husband died. She dealt with her grief through painting and travel, including four trips to Mexico by herself. Her most challenging trip was a month spent traveling through Europe, again by herself. “Traveling alone in France and learning to drive in England and Scotland was stressful but I was rewarded with many inspirational moments that have translated into paintings.”

Kennedy’s paintings have been described as brave, creative, unique and mesmerizing. “I do not use brushes or palette knives. Instead, I manipulate acrylics and mixed media to create vivid, glossy expressions of the external environment and my internal life."

In 2018, Kennedy was accepted into the historic and prestigious Los Angeles Art Association. One of her paintings was included in the book, Los Angeles Art Association Volume II. Two of Kennedy’s paintings are in Los Angeles Art Association Volume III, which celebrates the 95th anniversary of the Los Angeles Art Association.      

In addition to art, Kennedy enjoys travel, photography, reading and writing, good wine, good conversation and good food. In 2018 she left Los Angeles and returned to her roots in Montana. When she is not traveling, Kennedy divides her time between Montana and California.

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