KELLY'S STORY

Kelly O'Neill-Dusome was born and raised in southwest Michigan, USA where she saw and was taught the beauty of nature and the things around her. She has always noticed and admired the small details and nuances of her environment, noting the way the colors blended in a sunset or the way the shadows sat on a person's face. Kelly loved to incorporate art into every aspect of her life-whether it was doodling during class, making elaborate books and cards for her family and friends, or creating artsy desserts for her family's birthdays.
 

   Her adult life originally had taken a less artistic academic route. 

She received her Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and

Anthropology from Grand Valley State University in 2011. However,

her artistic inclination pushed her to pursue a career in cake

decorating, and she received a formal baking and decorating

education at Secchia Institute for Culinary Education where she 

obtained her Certificate of Baking and Pastry Arts in 2014.

    Kelly had found joy creating beautiful custom cakes and desserts

for thousands of customers, while also painting on the side for friends

and family. Unfortunately the unforgiving nature of baking and

decorating left Kelly with a permanent wrist and forearm disability

on both arms in 2017. She was no longer able to bake or decorate as a career due to the pain. Through years of surgeries, medications and therapies, she finally was able to start up painting as a form of wrist therapy since it was less stress on her arms. She quickly realized that painting also provided her with mental therapy, as it always relaxed her to paint. The mental impact painting had on Kelly's life was indescribable. Through all the twists and turns of growing up, career choices and health problems, painting kept on returning to her like an anchor. That, combined with an incredibly supportive support system, Kelly finally knew that painting was what she was meant to do. 

Today, Kelly paints part-time to allow her wrists to rest when needed, but is hoping to become full-time if the pain diminishes. Her specialty ranges from landscapes, portraits, animals, fan art, to still life; if she feels a powerful pull to an idea or reference, she will paint it. Her style leans on the photo-realistic side and she always aims to make each painting as real and eye-catching as possible. Kelly hopes her passion and devotion reflects in every piece she paints, and also hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams, no matter how many obstacles come in the way.

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