Kelly Williams


Kelly’s work is a symbolic narrative process. It is a progression of disentanglement, a developing of a story, layer by layer. It is only upon coming closer and becoming intimate that one experiences the intricate textures, subtle imagery, hidden text and imperfections that make up the whole. Secrets are hidden within the layers, embedded truths expressed and hidden again in this visceral journey. The written word is often used as a form of layered texture to engage the deeper self and invite the viewer to do the same.

The use of encaustic painting allows for the metaphorical layering, burning, burying and exposing that are all relevant to the deeper meaning of her work.  This ancient medium being used in contemporary visual expression further supports the timeless messages, issues and questions she is driven to explore both personally and culturally.

Kelly is best known for her large-scale multi-layered psychological encaustic paintings, but she also explores other mediums and subjects with the same intensity. She is currently using encaustic as well as oil/cold wax to capture the figure, contemplating the vulnerability and power of the feminine experience in her latest series, EXPOSURE: Power & Vulnerability.

Her work has appeared in multiple galleries, businesses and publications both locally and nationally and she is now represented by Basic Space Gallery in the heart of the Pearl, Portland's premiere arts district.  She has a busy practice in Portland Oregon, where she has just completed a new, state of the art encaustic studio.  She helps those who wish to explore their inner landscape or work through specific issues using encaustic painting as a cathartic medium in both private and small group sessions.  As a social artist she has developed several healing arts projects that bring this art form and method to disenfranchised populations and speak to audiences about how to use art as a powerful social advocacy tool in our communities.

Kelly teaches small group and one-on-one workshops that are customized to the level and interests of each group. Her classes take place in Portland, Oregon in a large, airy studio custom-built for encaustic painting.