After graduating art school, I completely stopped creating. I felt too overburdened with the pressure to follow the “rules” of art that it stifled my creativity. So I pursued a career in art therapy. Observing clients interact with the art materials reminded me of what I love about art the risk-taking and innovation there is no pressure to draw it the “right” way or use a particular technique. With this freedom, the pure, raw emotion can just flow right out.
Most of my paintings start with some paint splatters. I often play around and create a huge mess before I figure out what it is I am making. Or sometimes, the image just hits me out of nowhere and I feel the need to help it materialize.
Many of the themes that emerge pertain to motherhood, relationships, loss and love. Part of it comes from my personal experiences and part comes from the joys and sufferings of clients that come to my office for art therapy. I have always felt so alone in my suffering until I began to create, open up and connect with others. It has been a powerful and healing experience. My hopes are that these paintings speak to individuals on a deeply personal level and inspire people to find ways to feel connected and understood.
Melissa Kelly is an artist and art therapist with a private practice in Rockport, ME. She views art as a powerful tool to express and process emotions and tap into the subconscious. She enjoys “playing” with a variety of art mediums, making messes, and guiding people in finding their own creative voice. Melissa received a BFA from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and an MS in Art Therapy and Counseling from The College of New Rochelle.