Growing up in Placerville, a small northern California town, as a child Kelly Simpson Hagen learned to paint on weekend visits with her paternal grandmother. And, she has been creating art ever since.
Moving to Portland, Oregon, after college graduation, Kelly started her first grade teaching career at the same time she started a self-described unhealthy romantic relationship. “It turned my world upside down, and after years of stress my body shut down, literally. At this time, I thought my teaching career and ability to paint were over. When I had a flare up, it affected my entire right side, rendering me unable to walk or move, so painting wasn’t an option, which made it that much more frustrating.”
Finally, 15 years ago, Kelly said she got the help she needed and moved on. “I needed a way to release all of my frustrations and anger, so I picked up my brush and have never stopped.