Artist Bio

Self Portrait

I am Kenya Ferrand-Ott, an artist born and raised in Indiana, with Dyslexia. I work in many mediums; from drawing, watercolors, acrylics, and computer paintings. My parents always tought me to try everything and learn. I may not like it. I may even hate it, but I find out what I don’t like to do at the very worst. At best I can take snippits of what I liked and us those technique. In all forms of my art, realism is the goal of my art. Even in my fantasy work. It’s the realism that grips people. It’s the realism that draws people in so that they can join in the dialogue. Art for me is about kinesics. I have to observe body language so that I can understand. Once I understand, then I can speak for them. Through animals and my art I am able to express myself, get these ideas out of my head, and show to others that I may be more than I seem. By showing people I am more then I seem, I can show them that these animals are also more than they seem. Having Dyslexia often times makes people look at me as if I just don’t function in the real world or I have no practical use, but as it was when I was a kid with art, I could show that I was just as high functioning as anyone else. I’ve had an obsession with art and animals for as long as I can remember. As a child I would daydream these grand and elaborate cinematic sequences in my head of animals running, fighting, and playing. All while there are monsters and dragons having tea with a wizard. My parents nurtured all three loves in me by having a large variety of animals on the farm. The also helped by critiquing my art, watching animal documentaries, and letting me indulge in a good fantasy book. As such I would eventually be able to show these exciting scenes I had in my head to the rest of the world. I always hoped that I could inspire in others the same wonder I feel when I’m around these amazing beast. My inspiration for wildlife comes from observing nature and living animals. I like to capture that perfect moment in my head to create tension and anticipation. The moment when you see a gazelle make a sharp turn and think, “there’s no way the cheetah can catch up now”, then the cheetah makes yet an even sharper turn. Thus the Cheetah catches up to the gazelle than before and you realize, “Oh yes he can.” Perhaps even moments that a viewer never gets to see, such as a grizzly bear roaring right in their face. You may think that; “Oh, well people can see that on TV all the time.” My response would be; “Yes, but not life-size. Not with the same clarity, and definitely not looking right at them.” The animal has to have body language, has to speak without words, has to have motivation, and desire. Otherwise how will it have life? How will it have a voice? These are the experiences I wish to give to those that view my work. I want to provide experiences, thrills, and also education. Many of my works are titled ”This is not____” or “I am not____”. This came about because of a watercolor of a Great Blue Heron I did in college, where one of my fellow students proclaimed, “It’s a cool painting of a pelican.” Yet, another time I was painting a raccoon and someone clamed it to be a kitty. Recently a painting of a Silver Laced Wyandotte rooster was identified as a turkey. As well as seeking to educate those around me, I seek to educate myself with every work I do. I try to at least learn one new thing about my subject, because these are fascinating souls we share this world with.

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