When I first saw Kelly Neidig’s work I was struck by her exquisite use of contrast – the vibrant stripes of color against still, muted horizons. Upon further exploration, I learned that the basis for her work is the memories of places she has been. Whether passing through or stopping for a period of time, her recollections of surrounding landscapes provide the initial inspiration for her paintings.
Born in Coraopolis, a small borough of Pittsburgh, her favorite memories are of long car rides to her grandparents’ house in the country. She loved staring out the window watching the landscape zoom by. At the house, she would sit next to her grandpa at the dining room table and draw. After high school she attended Pennsylvania State University as a Landscape Architecture student, spending two years learning how to create and interpret the environment. Her desire for art led her to the Integrative Arts program, where she was able to use her Landscape background as a foundation for a degree in Art.
After graduating, she spent three years in Phoenix exploring the Southwest and gaining inspiration from the vast, open desert. In 2005, her longing for rain, grass and trees led her to Portland, Oregon which is still her home today. A career artist, Neidig’s work has been shown in numerous galleries and exhibitions in Arizona, Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, California and Reykjavik, Iceland, where she completed a residency in 2011. Her paintings hold a strong appeal to individual collectors and corporations alike.
Influenced by her understanding of the environment and elements of the Pacific Northwest, Neidig uses the landscapes of places she have traveled to show the experience of time and it’s effect on the memory. In the studio, she relies on her memory and imagination to reinvent these places. She is more interested in the overall feeling of these places than their details. Her memories can be vague or vanish quickly and sometimes the only thing she has left is color. Brightly colored stripes represent details of the landscape that vanish to the horizon and are juxtaposed against unmoving skies. The colors contribute to a feeling of nostalgia for place. This allows the viewer to call on their memories of place and connect with the painting based on their experiences. Ideally her paintings will remind the viewer of a place they have been.
You can view more of Neidig’s work and purchase any of her pieces here