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"My style is a constant barrage of ideas that flow from me to the canvas"

Tennessee-born artist Kelly Fischer.
Tennessee-born artist Kelly Fischer. / SUR
  • Tennessee-born artist, Kelly Fischer, expresses her observations and inspirations through lines and patches of colour on canvas

Tennessee-born artist Kelly Fischer will bring her latest works to the exhibition hall in Mijas from Sunday 5 to Friday 31 May.

The centrepiece of the show, titled Street Art Solo Exhibition, will be St Bernard Pass II, a vibrant multi-coloured canvas inspired by Fischer's recent trip between Switzerland and Italy on the St Bernard Pass. Through lines and patches of colour on canvas, Fischer expresses her observations and inspirations. Upon close inspection, the viewer will notice people and buildings amid the semi-abstract markings - a consistent theme throughout Fischer's 'Street Art' series.

Now based in Switzerland, the artist spends equal time at her studios in Bern and Memphis, and she maintains strong connections with both countries. Her paintings have been featured at numerous galleries and exhibitions, including Art Basel Miami Beach, the Austrian Biennale, and the Venice Biennale.

Aside from art, Kelly has published 11 children's books and is the former founder and head of the English Montessori School of Bern.

SUR in English caught up with the artist shortly before she arrived on the coast and she explained that her art is a reflection of her personality.

"My style is a constant barrage of ideas that flow from me to the canvas"

At what age did you start to paint?

At the age of six I took painting classes on Saturday mornings. This most definitely had an influence.

Have you been influenced by other painters?

Manfred Kuhnert, who is originally from East Germany but has resided in California for over 40 years, has had a tremendous influence on me. His choice of color and line is so intriguing. We became friends on one of my many trips to Laguna Beach, California. I own several of his paintings and can stare at them at length.

How did you develop your style?

My style is constantly evolving. It is a reflection of my personality and the constant barrage of ideas that flow from me to the canvas. To me painting starts out like a difficult puzzle that is scattered and needs to be put back together piece by piece. Organized chaos.

You say, "My semi-abstract portraits tell a story of whimsical spontaneity." Can you explain what this means?

Whimsical spontaneity means that my paintings are fluid and unpredictable. They are not forced or planned in advance.

Why did you decide to settle in Switzerland?

At 22 years of age I moved to Switzerland to study. Little did I know I would meet my wonderful husband, Robert, on my second day in Switzerland. After my studies finished, we moved to Paris, France to study French. Shortly after, we married and returned to Switzerland for my husband's work.

Have you exhibited in Spain before?

No, but I have signed a two-year contract with VESANIART to exhibit with them exclusively in Spain.

You have exhibited in many cities around the world; which has been the most memorable?

I am always honored and excited to exhibit my artwork in any city but the city that stands out the most is Miami! The energy and enthusiasm are not things I have ever felt or experienced in another city.

You spend equal time in your studios in Bern and Memphis; does this have a reflection on your work?

Yes, absolutely! My artwork painted in Memphis is more vibrant and looser. My artwork painted in Bern is more structured and geometrical. The color palette I choose is also more limited in Bern. The vast differences I experience in each city from light to the energy of the people helps me to balance my artwork. I need both cities to produce balanced artwork.

Why did you embark on a trip to St Bernard Pass?

It's on the way to the south of France where I spend a lot of time.

How did this inspire your art?

Travelling over the Pass has influenced my work in a tremendous way. The colors, shapes and overall feeling while travelling in this area simply were mesmerizing to my senses.

You spend a lot of time in Eze Plage, France; what is the attraction to this location?

At first, I simply vacationed in this area. Eventually, I received a project to paint 14 paintings for two villas in Eze Plage; Villa Paradise and Villa Panorama. The owner absolutely wanted the artwork to blend with the Mediterranean Sea and nature, and I needed to spend time there to capture the essence of the nature.

What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?

I consider every inch that I move forward a highlight. But one highlight that stands out in particular is my upcoming solo exhibition at the Swiss Consulate in New York City. After living in Switzerland for more than thirty years, to be recognized as a Swiss meant the world to me.

What inspired you to write children's books?

I founded and directed The English Montessori School of Bern for 18 years. While teaching, I realized that I was a natural at storytelling. I started writing stories to help the international children that I was teaching try to understand the importance of kindness and acceptance. This was not an easy task, but I did manage to publish 12 books.