Carry Out Cafe & Catering is featuring a solo exhibition by local artist Heather Kehney during July and August at the cafe at 155 State Street in Newburyport. “Abstract Flowers” is a series of oil paintings with the theme of spring, summertime and flowers, inspired by walks in nature and her adopted hometown.
“Her art is so atmospheric and interesting,” said Paula Simpson, owner of Carry Out Cafe & Catering. “She uses colors and composition to convey feelings. Because her art is abstract, each person can see it differently. We are happy to showcase her talent.”
Kehney, a primarily self-taught artist, began her creative journey in June 2005, when painting became an integral part of daily life. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from University of Vermont and worked in publishing and also as a baker until art called to her. “One summer day, I decided to start a painting of three yellow birds. It was challenging and fun. That week, I completed four more paintings, each one an abstract piece illustrating one color. There was a sense of freedom when I stepped away from form and drawing to emphasize color. Abstraction and color came naturally to me and I was hooked,” Kehney explained.
Her approach continues to be experimental, usually including several different palette knives and oil paint. Inspired by music, her technique involves building up layers of paint, lifting and peeling away segments, scraping, scribbling, drawing, scratching, writing, smudging, blending, transferring until the result is textured and unexpected. “I see each canvas as a fulfilling challenge,” she added.
The paintings on display at Carry Out Cafe are available for purchase. Please contact Julie Cook at [email protected].