Central Alberta is full of artists from established painters to musicians and everything in between. An up and coming addition to this community is Kaylee Motley.
Motley is a versatile artist who has received an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She has a fondness for acrylics as well as found-object art/sculpture and anything relating to natural themes.
“I’ve always kind of been into making things – either drawing for stories I’d write as a kid, or trying to paint. I never really did it seriously until I went to college. I was thinking of maybe doing psychology but I took a couple drawing classes on the side, and latched onto those drawing classes. Halfway through the year, I switched my major and went to the fine arts section and it’s history since then,” she said.
“I don’t really want to decide on any one kind of style yet. Nature and natural things primarily drive me. I’ve taken several astronomy courses even though I’m repeating the credits, just because I find the concepts and theories so interesting. I like anything and everything related to the natural world, and that could be space or water or whatever.
“I did a series of fish in space at one point, where they were swimming in nebulas and things like that. I like figures, animals – it’s all over the place,” Motley laughed.
She has been a resident of Gull Lake for most of her life. She grew up in the Junior Golf Program at the Gull Lake Golf Course and it was partially through this program and its associated scholarships that she was able to receive her degree. She spent time at Red Deer College as well as Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario.
“When I was in college, Red Deer only offered the two year diploma, so I did all the courses I could and tried everything I could but didn’t really specialize in anything. I took a year off and decided that I wanted a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In trying something new I moved to Ontario and from there I kind of just tried everything in primarily painting,” Motley said.
“There’s a fourth year class called Directed Studio and it’s basically half about learning about grants and marketing work and the business part of art, and the other half is a self directed studio. You have the whole year to create a body of work with anything, with any idea. I started off painting for mine – I’ve always been a painter – but I delved into some found-object sculpture as well. I ended up with a multimedia construction for my final piece.”
Motley was proud and intrigued by this found-object art and has been exploring the idea of how to produce more of it. She added she is seeking inspiration from a number of things, but a particular concept called Cabinets of Curiosities.
“Back before museums existed, a lot of people would collect things and oddities that they found and keep it with a personal collection. It could be things they found in travels or just found interesting, but most of them were quirky and strange objects – they would be bones or things in formaldehyde. I’ve just always found those collections cool,” she said.
“I have a greenhouse in my room with crystals and a buffalo jawbone and a bone. I’ve got a turtle shell and a whole bunch of different things that I find interesting. I want to work with that stuff more because I started doing that with my final year and I’d like to play with it more a bit.”
Motley’s art is available to be seen online at www.kayleemotleystudio.tumblr.com. People can follow her work and accolades on the Kaylee Motley Studio facebook page as well.
Currently, Motley is looking into artist in residency programs that would allow her to travel the world while making art. She is also planning to take the next year to explore further education options.