Kelsey Van Raay
Kelsey Van Raay
My name is Kelsey Van Raay and I was born in the small town of Chatham Ontario. I currently live in Calgary, Alberta, which I have called home now for 3.5 years. I have been creating art ever since I could pick up a pencil. My creativity stems from a long line of talent trickled down from my relatives, but my travel experience along with the support of family and friends have allowed for that passion to grow.
I studied fine arts in college and University for 5 years and ended up fostering that talent with a post graduate diploma in Event Management. Right now, I work full time for an Entertainment company. This type of work allows me to share my creative talents with the world in a different capacity. However, when I go home, I often head straight to the studio where I work on art and manage my side business called Kvanraay Designs. Kvanraay Designs was created in 2017, and is a fine art business that features my original work for sale along with commission pieces.
My favourite place to explore nature is in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada. The mountains are practically in my backyard, which makes it very easy to escape the hustle of life and find peace within nature. When I’m not in the studio, you can often find me hiking a mountain, kayaking a lake, or snowboarding the slopes. The mountains provide me with an endless portfolio of ideas and puts me in the same state of mind that creating art does.
“The Mountains are Calling” was inspired by a photo I took on one of my first drives on the Trans-Canada highway to the Rocky Mountains from Calgary. On this fall day, the clouds were just clearing over the mountains, and the road lit up as if a gateway to adventure had just appeared. When I captured the photo, I didn’t quite know how I was going to approach painting it. Originally, a classic landscape painting came to mind. I quickly began challenging myself on how I could put a unique spin to it. I have always loved drawing high detailed pen drawings which encouraged my bohemian patterns within this piece. This painting holds a special place in my heart as it was my first successful piece with this style. Since then I have continued to challenge and develop my skills in landscape painting.
Recently, I had come to a cross road in my life. I had lost my job, and was considering an entirely new career change. I had always been extremely motivated, hardworking and passionate about what I was doing, but found myself without any time to work on my art. This constantly weighed on me. I decided to take the loss of a job as an opportunity to gain some of that time back. So I got to work. I did a lot of self-reflecting, a lot of hiking excursions, and A LOT of staring off in the distance from a mountain top. I started developing a business idea. I had always wanted to take my art to the next level. After all, I had an extensive education in the subject! With my free time and the help of family and friends, I began establishing myself as an “Artist” and not just someone who makes art. Although my business is very new, I am extremely excited to see where it goes and what challenges and opportunities come next! Regardless of where my life takes me, the one thing that always remains constant is my need to create.