PRESERVED! Interview

PRESERVED! Interview

An interview provided for the Land Conservancy of West Michigan's PRESERVED! artist program. 2017

How did you get interested in becoming an artist? I enjoy creating something out of nothing, I enjoy putzing around making anything, as I always have. Being an artist gives me a certain sort of freedom to do whatever I want to, (to a certain extent) I haven't always wanted to be an artist, or a painter specifically, in my younger days, I originally wanted to become a cartoonist, but as time goes on, this is the path that I stumbled across. 

Do you have a favorite piece of work you’ve ever created? If so, what makes it appealing to you? I try not to get attached to any of my paintings, I think its best to create them and then move on. But unfortunately, I create work that enjoy and letting go of some pieces is easier said than done! I have a few pieces I will never part with. First one that comes to mind, is the piece that I got accepted into my first "Birds in Art" exhibition. It was life goal of mine to get into this very prestigious exhibition, and I had been trying for years. For this reason, Ill always keep the painting, and mostly because its awesome, and looks great on my wall. 

How do you solve artist’s block? I was just talking about this earlier today with another artist. I feel artist's block is somewhat of a myth. In the sense, I feel like Ive been on an artist's block for the past 6 years! Creating work isn't easy, and it is just that, its work. Everyday in my studio Im trying to push forward, and push through some constant artist's block. Constantly being unsatisfied pushes me forward to do better. Theres always a better painting to be made. 

Who inspires you? My wife is a constant source of inspiration through all her hard work and sacrifice. She's everything; an amazing artist, driven worker, constantly interested in whats going on in today's world, a respected teacher, and all while being an incredible mother to our one year old son, Charles. There aren't enough hours in the day for her to do it all, yet, sometimes she still does. 

What are your primary mediums as an artist? Im primarily a painter and use acrylic paint in my work, while utilizing saw dust, pine needles, etc. to create interesting textures.

What subject matter inspires you? I consider myself mostly an abstract painter, and my abstractions are largely inspired from many things found in nature. I also infuse realism into my paintings with imagery of birds. Habitat loss resulting in the decline of many bird species through human expansion, climate change are all ideas that inspire my work and are infused into it. Going out birding and hiking while gathering reference photos for my paintings is a huge inspiration for my work. In my abstractions, Im primarily inspired by the various cycles that exist in nature. I think the transitional moments that can be found in nature are ideas always on the tip of my mind during the creative process. (seasonal shifts, decay, growth, water) While painting, I'm constantly thinking of the natural forms and textures that are found in nature and how I might be able to express these feelings in new creative ways on the canvas. I want the feeling of the environment to show through in my work. I have a memory or a feeling I'm trying to convey with my paintings right now, the feeling of digging your fingers deep into some wet moss and pulling it up slowly from the roots, this feeling is fresh, yet musty at the same time, its dank and gritty, muddy.

What role does nature play in your work? Nature is the driving force behind my artwork, whether it be in my abstractions through the various textures and forms found in the landscape or through the realistic imagery of birds I use. I draw most my inspiration from the feeling and memories being in nature. I don't necessarily want to paint one specific place with my imagery, I want to create spaces that will evoke memories in the viewer, or of feelings they may have had once of being in a space they've felt in the past. 

What role do you think art serves in the environmental field as a whole? Art can inform and aid in educating people on the specific subject matter one choses. Gaining knowledge from facts dictated through art and their artist's statements is great a thing, but I think better than that, art can create a sense of awareness and curiosity in people. I would rather spark an interest in nature, in birds, in a viewer so they then in-turn go out on their own and explore these issues and ideas, and we will then see where this leads that person. 

Why did you get involved with the Preserved! Program? I think my work goes hand in hand with what the Land Conservancy does. Through my work I try to educate my viewer, and help raise awareness of declining bird species by ways of habitat loss, but I feel being part of the Preserved! Program I can do a little more than that. Through the Preserved! Program I can utilize by ability as an artist to achieve some direct good for the environment. I can help raise awareness of the LCWM's various properties for people to explore, and also through sales of work, I can directly contribute to the LCWM's goal of protecting land.

What do you hope people take away from your work? I always want to help educate and inform viewers on my subject matter through my artwork, but more importantly, I hope my work to creates a curiosity in the subject matter, (birds, habitat loss) so that they will grow an interest in discovering more about nature and birding, rather than simply digesting information. From an artistic side, I also want people to simply enjoy the work as they are; as successful paintings, interesting brush strokes, textures, ideas. Ill forever be a painter before anything else. 

Is there anything else you’d like to say? I always enjoy when people come up to me asking to help in identify what bird they saw while they were out camping or what bird they saw in their yard the other day, I don't know everything, but its fun trying to figure it out along the way.

 

For more information please click below. 

https://naturenearby.org/interview-justin-kellner/

 

 

"Lasting Through Winter" now on permanent display

"Lasting Through Winter" now on permanent display

Proud to have "Lasting Through Winter" now on permanent display at the Blandford Nature Center in their visitor welcome center

"Lasting Through Winter" now on permanent display

"Lasting Through Winter" now on permanent display

"Displacement" Installation

"Displacement" Installation

"Displacement" installed at Lafontsee Galleries.

Birds in Art!

Birds in Art!

"Listen for the Prothonotary at Maple River" will be a part of Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum's 40th Anniversary 2015 Birds in Art Exhibition.

http://www.lywam.org/birds-art-2015/

WAUSAU, WISCONSIN: Mesmerizing artwork by 123 of the world’s most talented artists serves as a fitting tribute to this year’s milestone 40th annual “Birds in Art” exhibition on view September 12 through November 29 at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. Varied and accomplished depictions of avian life, from regal poses, lively gatherings, and calm repose to sculptural statements and whimsical “trompe l’oeil” works highlight why throughout four decades “Birds in Art” has earned international esteem.  

      The 2015 exhibition includes the work of 102 artists, selected by three jurors, and 21 who have been named Master Artists during previous “Birds in Art” exhibitions. Artwork from 607 artists was submitted for the 2015 jury’s consideration. The 2015 jurors were Danny Bills, curator of collections and exhibitions, Wichita Falls Museum at Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas; Virginia Eichhorn, director and chief curator, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada; and Terry Pitts, director emeritus, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This year’s edition includes 28 international artists and 11 first-time “Birds in Art” artists.  

 

Displacement

Displacement

Bronze, String, Red and White Pine Needles

"Displacement" will be on view at the Lansing Art Gallery for TIME/PLACE Exhibition, along with the painting "Stumble Across the Morning".  The exhibition will be up from Sept. 1st - 31st.

http://lansingartgallery.org/timeplace/

As a result of habitat loss caused by human expansion, the populations of many bird species are declining at a drastic rate and run the risk of extinction. Human civilization is temporary. The extinction of a species is permanent. Like the cerulean warbler, which nests in the mature deciduous forests of Southwestern Michigan, many species require specific habitats to flourish, and deforestation and the loss of these specific ecosystems has led to their decline.

Displacement

Displacement

Bronze, String, Red and White Pine Needles

"Displacement" will be on view at the Lansing Art Gallery for TIME/PLACE Exhibition, along with the painting "Stumble Across the Morning".  The exhibition will be up from Sept. 1st - 31st.

http://lansingartgallery.org/timeplace/

 

As a result of habitat loss caused by human expansion, the populations of many bird species are declining at a drastic rate and run the risk of extinction. Human civilization is temporary. The extinction of a species is permanent. Like the cerulean warbler, which nests in the mature deciduous forests of Southwestern Michigan, many species require specific habitats to flourish, and deforestation and the loss of these specific ecosystems has led to their decline.

 

PRESERVED!

PRESERVED!

"The Sound of Anderson Woods", a painting inspired by visiting one of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan's nature preserves, will be one of many paintings on display by myself and along with other participating artist's work from the region for the PRESERVED! program's two exhibitions.  For more information, click the link below!

http://www.naturenearby.org/preserved/

Lafontsee Galleries in Douglas, MI PRESERVED! exhibition      October 15th - 25th, Reception October 16at 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Calvin Gallery 106 in Grand Rapids, Mi PRESERVED! exhibitionOctober 28th - November 20th, Reception October 29th 7pm -8pm

Preserved! Conservation of West Michigan

Preserved! Conservation of West Michigan

Proud to be a part of this great program. "Preserved! Conservation of West Michigan" helping spread the word of conservation and the amazing work the Conservation of West Michigan does in setting aside environments for the future well being of species and generations.

 

http://www.naturenearby.org/preserved/

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