I create art simply because I must — it’s an innate part of who I am and what I am compelled to do. Through art I seek a melding of soul, emotion & color – helping stir the imagination to recall memories of landscapes or scenes from one’s past or present — some beautiful, others stormy or mystical. I portray just enough image to start the journey — allowing the viewer to experience the emotion and feeling that’s buried deep — ready to be found and remembered.
My journey put me in the paths of many Master Artists who, like the Masters before them, imparted centuries-old methods that yield beautiful works of art. They have imparted to me a gift of age-old knowledge that I must share with future artists – who in turn will impart their skill to future generations — even if the final product is of a much different style, form or medium.
Art has been a part of Kelly’s life since she was very young. With a home in Eastern Washington and a vacation cabin in the San Juan Islands, she experienced many road trips across Washington State – which instilled a love of beautiful scenery. Kelly grew to love high desert plateaus, vast fields, misty skies, stormy rivers and tranquil winter scenes. She even remembers staying awake on childhood road trips so she wouldn’t miss the Palouse with its open fields, thin murky ponds or trees at the edge of a pasture.
Sooter pursued a classical European art education. Over a 20 year period of time, she studied under some of Europe’s finest artists — including 9 years under Slava Letkov, Artist Emeritus of Russia, Misha Lebedev, Russia, and Sergi Terentiev, Professor —Fedoskino School of Art in Russia. She also completed a 15 year apprenticeship with Bjorg Kleivi, of Norway with whom she painted 96 panels for a large church renovation in Burien, WA. Teaching art has also been a passion — allowing Kelly to be an art instructor at regional art conventions in Seattle and Portland as well as travel to teach at the request of art organizations in Washington and Oregon.
In 2011, Sooter’s artistic journey took a major change in style and medium — from detailed florals to peaceful landscapes created with oil. This change took place while visiting galleries and artist studios in Sonoma and Laguna Beach, CA. Those travels ignited a quest to create landscapes that are reflective of the love she has for distant horizons and dramatic skies.
Kelly’s art travels out of state have had a dramatic effect on her palette and imagery. She found that plein air painting and photography helped her see the landscape in fresh new ways. Currently Kelly is active in OPA-Oil Painters of America, AIS-American Impressionist Society, AWA-American Women Artists . Her work is represented by galleries in Washington, California and Arizona. Kelly’s home is in Snohomish, WA where she’s considers herself very blessed with 3 grown sons and an amazing husband.