Kelsey Hochstatter was born and raised in East Amherst, New York. Her family traveled often, and she quickly became captivated by the diversity of the natural world surrounding her. As a young girl she would sketch on anything she could get her hands on. She never kept a diary, although she left a trail of sketches adorning her path. She began taking on a great deal of illustration work at a young age. A daydreamer, an explorer and an artist, Kelsey was constantly challenging herself. Her imaginative mind took her places that this world could not. Years later, she realized that painting could take her to those same places. “If I’m yearning for serenity, through painting I can find it. When I am moved or inspired in life, by Nature, by people, by God, it stays with me. I revisit those feelings when I’m painting.”
Kelsey went on to pursue her interests at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York. She majored in Fine Arts, as well as Environmental Studies and Psychology. Kelsey cherished her time spent in the studio, particularly painting and printmaking. She displayed a kind of passionate drive that was hard to miss. The artist also managed to play for the University’s Women’s Lacrosse Team, work as a Teacher’s Aide for two professors, and work for the University’s Outdoor Program as a rock climbing guide. Her climbing trips enabled her to spend time outdoors in the Adirondack Mountains. Kelsey would hook a small camera to her harness and photograph anything that inspired her along the way. The rich earth tones in the autumn leaves, a visual detail or texture on a rock formation, the pattern of the moss growing over a boulder, these were all photographs that were later pinned to her studio wall for reference while she painted.
Kelsey is always seeking signs of Nature’s little treasures. She has named these “natural details”, referring to “…the little things in life, which are naturally formed, often unobserved, and exude the purest kind of beauty.” Whether through form, pattern, texture or color, these “natural details” continue to take shape in her paintings today.
Kelsey’s driven mentality that made such a busy college career possible has only grown since then. It is now aimed at her career as an artist, which she says, “Is a dream come true and a blessing every day.” The artist now resides in Southern California and finds herself inspired and painting as often as ever.