Artist in Residence – Emily Kaelin

Emily Kaelin is a painter and mixed media artist from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. She graduated with her BFA from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver, Colorado in 2008, and with her MFA from Burren College of Art in County Clare, Ireland in 2011.

Using watercolors, acrylics, spray paint, glitter, and other mediums, she creates haunting, surreal images of the monstrous feminine, rendered in a style that incorporates a unique blend of expressionism and surrealism, and is at once illustrative, fantastical, abstracted, and cryptic. Her work has often been described by others as “beautiful, but frightening”. This dichotomy of beauty and the abject, loveliness and fear, fecundity and the void, are the conceptual core of the work.

Her images are created largely through an intuitive, impulsive, and spontaneous process, wherein little is planned out prior to beginning a work. She prefers to “feel” her way through a painting, working with the images in a more intuitive fashion, allowing the process of painting to continually shift and alter the images during their creation.

Paintings are typically produced relatively quickly, in an effort to avoid belaboring the process and therefore creating a final image that appears too dense or overworked. Maintaining spontaneity in the process yields fresher results that feel more accurate to the emotional environments she seeks to represent.

While in Skagaströnd, she will be pursuing more ambitious painting projects with respect to size, imagery, and conceptual content, while drawing inspiration from this unique landscape, the emotions it inspires, and the mythos of the Icelandic culture.


instagram: @vvitchinheat