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Kellie Snider, Artist

My science-based education and work were not wasted effort.

They were scaffolding for the true work of my life—my art.​​​​​​​

I have been an artist since I was 4-years old. It sustained me through all the kinds of things people do: Going to school, being a mother, working, making a name for myself in my field, traveling, volunteering. My BS and MS degrees in Behavior Analysis and my 20-year career as an animal shelter behaviorist, trainer, and international lecturer on canine aggression were passions, but the truth is that passions ebb and flow. They can leave you spent and frustrated. 

After leaving my last nonprofit leadership role I briefly regretted the time I had spent on the very emotional work I did, but after a year or two of just painting every day, I saw that none of it was wasted. Those efforts provided places to practice compassion, and they provided scaffolding for the true work of my life—my art. Science and the school of hard knocks taught me how the world works, but writing and painting let me see beyond the obvious boundaries of how things are into how they might be. 

Today I make abstract realist portraits in oils and some mixed media, but I ran at art from a hundred different directions during those constructional years. I worked in acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, and oils. I refinished furniture, made rugs, and dyed fabric. I did schoolwork, art classes, reading, and lots of looking.  These experiments taught me about color, composition, value, and form. Now, thanks to all those explorations, my tool box is full and I can simply do my work. Oil is my medium of choice because of its luminosity and willingness to engage with other media when I ask it to. Oils work with me rather than making me work for them. 

Art was always there when jobs failed, when I was afraid I would fail my children, when people and animals died, when life simply sucked. And art was there for me, still, when the sun came out, when children and friendships were born, when accomplishments were realized. My training in the sciences helped me make sense of the world. My persistent relationship with the making of art gives me the courage and hope to live in it.

Personal Mission Statement

To invest irreverent compassion in those who may not know how creative they are.