I’ve always argued that the most exciting aspect of “kites as art” is that the individual almost always shines through. A simple kite form can become magical with unique treatment by a skilled artist. So it is with the kites of Nancy Kiefer, a skilled portrait painter with an almost primitive style. She has artistic tools readily adaptable to the kite-canvas: powerful lines, strong contrast, and an amount detail left to the imagination of the viewer. Her miniatures, show how adaptable her portraits are to kites since viewing them at arm’s length is much like viewing a kite at 200 feet. Working with inks, acrylics and dyes, she has created living portraits able to fly, interact with the environment and reach down to a new audience.
Nancy’s portraits were transformed into kites by Seattle kitemaker and graphic designer, Greg Kono. Using straightforward framing techniques typical of traditional Japanese kites, as well as the traditional framing material of bamboo, her art on washi paper became art kites. In the collaborative process, there is little doubt that Nancy will now possess the skills necessary to pursue future kite projects – the reason for the collaboration in the first place.
Images (click to open in viewer):