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About the Artist

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AchronalA

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/achronalart/

My artwork on t-shirts and other merchandise at Threadless: https://achronalart.threadless.com

My artwork on mugs and other merchandise at CafePress: https://www.cafepress.com/achronalart

Inquiries may be sent to the artist at   Q word that rhymes with dairy care of this website.

Alessandra Kelley has more than a quarter of a century's experience as a professional artist and illustrator. Chicago-based, she paints and draws in a variety of styles, including allegories founded in classical mythology and Renaissance philosophy, magic realist works, cover art and interior illustration for mainstream and genre magazines and book publishers, and scientific illustration. She also designs, fabricates and paints clothing and textile art. She paints minuscule tabletop roleplaying miniature figures for fun and practice.

Her art comments on modern life, society and spirituality through a lens of classical scholarship, referring to and invoking memory, self-image, and the wealth of past history and its abandonment, movement and dress and social awareness.

While she uses many different visual media, a major focus has been egg tempera, an ancient technique where she mixes her own egg-yolk paint and applies it in thin, bright layers to plaster-gessoed boards. It's a medium with great depth and durability. The handwork involved in making her own paint and supports helps keep her mindful of the process of painting and connected to the sense of history that is essential to her art.


She has worked to learn her materials' characteristics, chemistry, and hazards. When she was pregnant she became concerned at the difficulty of finding information on the effects of art materials on developing babies. With the help of a genetic counselor, she collected information on common painting materials, particularly pigments, which she subsequently wrote into a paper, "Safety Concerns for Pregnant Painters", posted elsewhere on this site.

Alessandra Kelley has taught numerous classes, workshops, and seminars at Chicago and downstate colleges, art centers, and libraries. When she is teaching classes she will announce it here.


Alessandra Kelley matriculated at the University of Chicago and was granted a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Curriculum vitae / résumé.


These pages are dedicated to the memory of Zbigniew Tadeusz Jastrzebski, a fine scientific illustrator at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and a merciless and talented teacher.

I took Jastrzebski's scientific illustration classes nights at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for three years. He was truly terrifying (My friends dubbed him one of nature's Mean Old Kung Fu Masters), brooked no nonsense and expected every student to work with everything they had.

But he was also humorous and compassionate once you got to know him. He was born in Poland in 1940, a very bad time, and learned art at the rigorous academies of Eastern Europe. He and his mother emigrated to the United States in the 1960s, and he soon took up work as a scientific illustrator for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, where he produced thousands of illustrations. He also did commercial illustration, and taught classes at the SAIC and other area colleges.

He wrote an excellent book, Scientific Illustration: A Guide for the Beginning Artist, which is out of print but available. When I read it, I can still hear his deep voice, his thick Polish accent, and his slightly idiosyncratic grammar.

He was one of my best teachers ever, and a good friend. He died suddenly at his drafting table at the age of sixty, far too young.

Any friend or student of Zbigniew Jastrzebski who wishes to swap anecdotes will find me a sympathetic listener.


Inquiries may be sent to the artist at   Q word that rhymes with dairy care of this website.