a place to grow



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The Illustrator: Kelly Murphy

When people ask Kelly if she always wanted to be an artist, she isn't quite sure how to answer. It almost seems as though art found her and they became the best of friends. Being the last of seven children, Kelly's childhood was constantly filled with an energetic hustle and bustle. One brother loved astronomy, another loved sports, and Kelly liked to do everything they liked to do, mostly to their annoyance. It wasn't until geometry class that Kelly discovered a world of her own...doodling! Doodling was far more interesting than dodecahedrons! Needless to say, her math skills have suffered since.

While attending the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Kelly experienced everything from stone carving to animation. Eventually, her heart was sold on illustration and she began to develop her unique mixed media style, which combines watercolor, acrylic and gel mediums on a gessoed surface. Each of Kelly's paintings contain anywhere from three to seven layers. Kelly says she began painting this way out of a "fear of color" as this layering technique allows her to approach color in a slower, more controlled fashion. In addition, she loves how it allows her to create complex textures and a translucent glow, which was ideal for capturing the rugged terrain and ethereal essence of the Wind in A Place to Grow. Kelly's technique can loosely be compared to the Flemish style of painting called glazing, used by such masters as Van Eyck and Johannes Vermeer.

To learn more about Kelly and her many award-winning books, illustrations, and media projects, please visit www.kelmurphy.com.

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