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Meet the Artist: Keely Mitchell

By Amber Ford

Meet the Artist: Keely Mitchell

Using her creativity and imagination as the brush and the Mt. Hood National Forest as her canvas, local artist and Mt. Hood Villages resident Keely Mitchell is creating artistic magic. Finding her passion for art at a very young age, Mitchell began utilizing nature for the tools needed to create art. “I began painting as a little kid,” Mitchell said. “I’d use dirt, blueberries from my parents’ garden, rose petals, anything I could get my hands on,” Mitchell added.

Focusing mainly on creating art with pottery and oil paint, Mitchell sees value and freedom in both art forms. “Pottery really feels like magic,” Mitchell said. “Taking a lump of dirt and shaping it into almost anything you can imagine gives the greatest of wizard vibes,” Mitchell added. Oil painting has also been a passion of Mitchell’s and having on hand her art supplies helps her create pieces that inspire creativity and vision. “Oil painting feels like you’re reading a good book,” Mitchell said. “You may take a break from it for a day or two, but when you finally find your way back to it, the paints are still ready to be morphed into a story you don’t yet know,” Mitchell added. While Mitchell mainly keeps to her pottery and oil paintings, she has also dabbled in photography and clothing design. “I’ve played around with clothing design and film photography and really loved it, but I think my love for creating things otherworldly pulled me away,” Mitchell said.

Crediting her dad and the late, great Bob Ross, Mitchell’s art and creativity has been shaped by the work and stories of others. “When I was little I’d watch his [Ross] show and when I started going to school, I remember my dad taping them on the VHS for me so I could watch the whole episode when I got home,” Mitchell said. “Bob would just set a scene so easily and would encourage anyone and everyone that they could do it, too – that really got me going,” Mitchell added. While Ross may have been the inspiration needed to jumpstart her passion for art, Mitchell also credits Salvador Dali and his extreme use of imagination. “Salvador Dali really captured my attention in my youth with art that makes you really think, and that’s kind of what I aspire to do,” Mitchell said.

While there are people and places who inspire Mitchell’s work, living on the mountain is of huge benefit to her and her art when she begins a piece. “I’m constantly surrounded by the forests and hills that I’ve incorporated into my pieces for years and years,” Mitchell said. “Being here and getting more time to get a closer look at all the small things really gets the creative juices flowing,” Mitchell added.

For more information on where to purchase Mitchell’s work visit

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