Kimberlee Connelly Alemian was born in Spokane, Washington and has been drawing and painting since childhood. Trained in Boston and New York, she studied with George Nick, Paul Rahilly, and Rob Moore at the Massachusetts College of Art for her BFA. She received a full scholarship to Boston University, College of Fine Arts, School of Visual Arts where she studied with David Aronson, John Moore, Graham Nickson and Richard Raiselis. After receiving her MFA at BU, Alemian went to the New York Studio School to continue her studies with Graham Nickson.
Alemian paints primarily with oil in subject matter that includes landscape, still lifes and figures. Her work has been included in exhibitions along side fellow classmates Emily Eveleth, Catherine Kehoe, Chawky Frenn and notable artists Stephanie Mahan Stigliano, Colleen Keily, and Lisa Houck and in various individual and collective exhibitions in the United States.
Her work continues to evolve, studying the techniques of, Willem deKooning, Hans Hoffman, Joan Mitchell, Richard Diebenkorn, the Bay Area Figurative artists and contemporary artist Cynthia Packard, adopting methods of strong, gestural brushwork and aggressive color.
Between 1964 and 1967, Alemian lived in Hong Kong and Bangkok,Thailand respectively. Her father worked with Gillette just when United States companies were exploring and opening up the Asian markets. Here she was introduced to exotic art and architecture. Her family moved to Germany in 1967 where she thrived in the art classes at Munich International School and studied art privately with Marika Borcherdt Popovits.
She has traveled to France with her husband Richard on numerous occasions and looked closely at the work of Ingres, Poussin, Degas and Matisse. It was her first visit to Italy, however, that profoundly influenced her sense of color and structure. The rich golden tones of the Italian masters hit a unique spot in her sensibilities.
Interiors, still life, and particularly the use of plant materials is a reactive point for me. Working from something live or something that will change its form, forces me to focus and paint quickly. If the result is not satisfactory, I turn the canvas and start over, using traces of information left on the support. The painting can change drastically each time it is worked on. The subject is described through negative and positive passages of thick and thin layers of paint and/or related media; charcoal, oil or chalk pastel.
Painting landscape on location, chasing the light or capturing the atmosphere extends the practice of painting quickly—to catch the feeling. Back in the studio, I study what is happening within these works. Sometimes, after weeks or months of looking at them they can suprize me. Certain passages become pronounced and assert themselves.
Imagery cut from newspaper or magazine articles is also entering my work more frequently. The experience of reacting to live situations informs these paintings and the interpretations within layers of imagery and content remain open.
I am drawn to the rawness of the mark and layering of color. It excites me when a plane can be both in front of and behind another plane depending on where you are looking in the painting. My paintings evolve over a period of time and their history can be glimpsed through the construction of them.