Creating art is a very meditative process for me. I repetitively cut, rip and glue pieces of paper to the canvas. I love transcending a simple piece of paper into a 3-D piece of art.
Color excites me, but I also honor the sleek simplicity of black and white. Even more, I’m enthusiastic about texture and dimension. I’ve created different ways to make texture with paper using ripping, cutting and folding techniques. I love the playful, unexpected and dimensional element that textured paper brings to the canvas.
The intention of my art is to evoke a sense of wonderment through the patterns of thousands of pieces of paper used to create one of my pieces, each of which may take sometimes more than 100-200 hours to complete. I hope viewers take time to lose themselves in my work and become inspired by the intricacies they find there.
Self-taught artist Kelly Joy Ladd, from Orlando, Florida, first began working with paper in 2012 after her husband, who has Lyme disease, developed a condition called multiple chemical sensitivity. Because of his adverse reaction to chemicals, Kelly had to figure out how to make art without using paint. She realized that her husband could be around paper. After many years, she developed a variety of unique textures that make up here 3D work.
While at the University of Central Florida getting her B.A. in Liberal Studies, Kelly studied astronomy and even took college courses at Kennedy Space Center. Today, she still is fascinated with the subject and incorporates many astronomical concepts in her work.
Although she has never been formally trained in the arts, throughout her life, Kelly has always created art in one form or another. Her first job was an entertainer/parade performer at Disney World. The colors, textures and fabrics of the costumes excited her. She often found herself sitting backstage among the costumes examining the textures, colors and construction. After college, Kelly worked as writer for Hardrock.com, where she interviewed rock stars, and as an editor for magazines like Garden Design, Florida Traveland Lifeand Parenting.
Today, Kelly is often surrounded by scraps of paper while she carefully constructs them into intricate patterns that she often visualizes during meditation, yoga or that place between sleep and awake. She is inspired by rhythmic repetition, texture and pops of color. Creating art is a joy for her and she hopes to share that feeling with others.
- Watch Kelly as she describes her art, her inspiration and the reason she works with paper.
- Learn more about Kelly, her art and process.
- Hear Mennello Museum of American Art curator Katherine Navarro talk about Kelly’s work.