The first time I saw one of Etsy seller Kimberly Van Dyke's photographs, it took me a moment to realize what I was looking at. It was one of the photographs from her "Personification" series, and my eyes wanted to believe that the starfish on the beach was an actual starfish, rather than a person body painted to look like a starfish. Of course, once my brain and my eyes were on the same page, I couldn't stop looking. With the wide variety of creative photography (as well as hand-painted silk accessories) available at the Etsy shop KimberlyAtStir, you are likely to keep looking as well.
Kimberly, the creative genius behind KimberlyAtStir, has lived both in New York City and Seattle, but has been making artwork her entire life. From a young age, she worked in her grandfather's studio, learning painting and pottery. She says that around 4 or 5 years old, she discovered that art wasn't just a playtime thing, and that it could be really fabulous sometimes. She went on from that early revelation to get a BFA, and has been selling her artwork for the past three years. Her shop on Etsy, KimberlyAtStir, has been around only for a short time, but offers a wide spectrum of her photography and hand-painted silk accessories.
Kimberly says that her "Personification" series was one of her favorite series to work on. For this series, she body painted models to look like common objects: a starfish, a cheetah, and a cello, among other items. By superimposing the photographs of the painted models into appropriate settings, several of the pictures in this series really do make you look twice, to see if you are looking at the real thing or a human posing as the real thing. Aside from the "Personification" series, Kimberly has created several other series of photographs, all of which have produced some spectacular results.
If photographs aren't your thing, you may instead enjoy Kimberly's hand-painted silk accessories. Baseball caps and ties will appeal more to the male crowd, while her custom hand-painted silk scarves would be an elegant and colorful touch to any woman's wardrobe. Whether you prefer an identifiable image or a more abstract design, chances are good that Kimberly will be able to create a custom scarf that will please you or the woman in your life.
In addition to her shop on Etsy, Kimberly also has a studio in the Pioneer Square area of downtown Seattle, which also doubles as a gallery. The studio, Stir, can be found at 216 Alaskan Way S, and is open on the first Thursday of each month as a part of Seattle's First Thursdays Gallery Walk. Whether you see her work online or in person, it is sure to delight and entertain the viewer who appreciates the human form and the wonders of body paint.