As one of our favs here at The Copperprint, Kelly O’Leary is a self-taught, multidisciplinary visual artist whose passion for the natural world serves as a constant inspiration for her artwork. Born in Southern Florida and raised in the Midwestern United States, O’Leary has always had a deep connection with nature which is clearly reflected in her work. Specifically, she is drawn to the coastal environments and has mastered the art of capturing their beauty and serenity in a truly unique and evocative way.
One of the most striking aspects of O’Leary’s work is her ability to capture the essence of the natural world. From the crashing waves of the ocean to the delicate beauty of a wildflower, O’Leary’s photographs transport viewers to these coastal environments, allowing them to experience the sights, sounds, and even the emotions associated with these places. The minimalistic and abstract nature of her compositions adds a certain mystique, leaving room for interpretation and personal connection. Each image conveys a sense of place and atmosphere, inviting viewers to dive into their own imagination and create their own narratives.
Utilizing light, shadow, and texture, O’Leary creates visually striking images that evoke strong emotional responses. Whether it’s through the soft, ethereal light illuminating a landscape or the stark contrast between light and dark, her photographs have a way of captivating viewers. However, what truly sets O’Leary apart is her ability to create an intimate sense of place, a moment of tranquility that allows viewers to connect with the natural world on a deeper level. Through her photographs, O’Leary reminds us to slow down, appreciate the beauty around us, and find solace in the delicate intricacies of nature.
While O’Leary’s photography is primarily black and white, her subject matter provides a wide range of textures and patterns to explore. From the intricate details of a seashell to the complex interplay of light and shadow on the ocean’s surface, her work celebrates the beauty found within nature’s patterns. The end result is a series of photographs that emanate a sense of calm and tranquility, providing viewers with a much-needed respite from the chaos of everyday life.
In addition to her work in black and white photography, O’Leary also explores the world of abstract painting. These pieces allow her to further explore the interplay of light, color, and texture in a more fluid and expressive manner. Through her abstract works, she invites viewers to delve into the realm of imagination and emotion, providing a different yet equally captivating experience.
Kelly’s talent and unique perspective have not gone unnoticed. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and in Europe, showcasing her ability to resonate with viewers and stir emotions. Additionally, she has received numerous awards for her photography, solidifying her status as an accomplished visual artist.
Ultimately, Kelly O’Leary’s work serves as a poignant reminder of the beauty and fragility of our planet. With her black and white fine art photography, she captures fleeting moments, freezing them in time and inviting us to stop and appreciate the world around us. In a fast-paced and hectic world, her work provides a much-needed pause, a chance to reconnect with nature and find solace in its timeless beauty.
My work is endlessly inspired by the Coast - from land to sea, I am drawn to the perfection of Nature and beauty found in the imperfect, from delicate to grandiose to those things left to ruin. Being visually tactile, I gravitate to organic forms and textural shifts created through luminosity and complexity of line & shadow. I am pulled to the lull of the ocean and the organic fragments it heaves upon the shore, to the cushion of warm earth and the endless life it spurs, and to the dark, dank corners and scarred walls of dilapidated spaces; I yearn for their quietude. Conveying the poetic stillness of these quiet spaces in my artwork is necessary and eases my soul.
Favoring the abstract nature and solemn, quiet beauty of B&W photography, it allows me to remove the extraneous while developing mood and a more emotive expression. I utilize minimalist compositions, paring down abundant vistas in order to isolate my subjects and form candid and intimate moments of solitary intention. In addition to my equipment; weather, planning, and a great deal of patience are the most invaluable tools in my process. Seeking out the extraordinary in the ordinary, I offer a narrative to the static, creating a genuine connection between the viewer and my subjects.
Using only professional grade, archival materials, my abstract works are a minimalist gesture of movement & texture. Working in acrylics & mixed media, I methodically build layer upon layer on the canvas to mimic the complex characteristics of terrain and atmosphere found in the very same landscapes & seascapes I capture behind the lens. As an intuitive Artist, I am mindful of composition but openly welcome fortuitous occurrences during the process. I utilize a curated, refined palette of neutral, muted hues, with only slight tonal shifts resulting in quiet, organic art pieces. My fluid works require tremendous control and meticulous placement of pigments, as well as use of negative space, to ultimately achieve a sense of ethereal calm.
With genuine intention and gentle restraint in composition and palette, my works create a mindfulness, an intimate sense of place, a tranquil moment where I connect with my audience somewhere within the quiet.
A life-long, self-taught, multidisciplinary visual artist creating B&W fine art photography as well as minimalist abstract paintings, Kelly O’Leary was born in Southern FL and raised in the Midwestern United States. As an adult, innumerable moves as a military spouse have taken her across-country, from mountain to sea and back again. After spending a great deal of time residing along the Georgia & Carolina coasts, she currently lives and works on the Northeastern coast of Florida.
Kelly is a true observer of the tactile nature of things, a seeker of light and shadow in our natural surroundings, particularly in her beloved Coastal environments. From childhood, she recalls not a single moment devoid of artistic expression, there was always a sibling in a nearby room dreaming, creating - a veritable patchwork of indelible memories. Formative years were turbulent and unsettling, art was always a means to escape the chaos. From drawing to sewing to music to painting; all therapeutic mechanisms. At a young age, Kelly became enthralled with the works of Ansel Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright, Georgia O’Keefe, Edward Weston, Andrew Wyeth, and even Alberto Vargas. She would peer into windows and roam the halls of the local art museum sitting mere yards from her childhood home. A poetic collaboration of influences fed Kelly's deep and profound love of fine art and design, her acute observation of fine details, and fervent desire to connect with our natural world and observe its quiet intricacies within her work.
While raising her family, Kelly has never stopped evolving as an Artist; she continued to research, explore, and experiment in both her photography & paint mediums, honing her techniques. Having first parlayed her innate skills into Interior Design and creating her first abstracts on canvas, she quickly found her passion to be behind the lens. Her travels have only expanded her purview and heightened her longing to create lyrical stories of our ephemeral world through her images. Kelly's long background in design and affinity for the coast, significantly inform her work. Her soothing B&W photographic compositions, refined palettes and neutral hues of her abstract works, as well as her keen eye for balance and scale are all product of her strong sense of aesthetic.
Previously showing in a singular exhibit over a decade ago, Kelly formally emerged in late Fall of 2021, being accepted into her first international juried group photographic exhibit 'Abandoned: Time and Place' with The Chateau Gallery in Louisville, KY as part of the Louisville Photo Biennial. With numerous on-going projects, she continues to create and show her work, exhibiting in international juried group exhibitions including 'The Ephemeral and The Evanescence' in Rome, Italy with LoosenArt and most recently, 'Liquid~Sky' with Praxis Gallery in Minneapolis, MN. You can also find her work published in SHOTS Magazine, No. 158 Winter issue, 2023. and most recently, in the forthcoming All About Photo Magazine No33 - Nature. Kelly’s work is held in a corporate collection in Englewood, NJ as well as with private collectors throughout the continental US
The Copperprint Presents:
The Kelly O'Leary Exhibit
Contact Kelly for inquiries