let go // pull back

Hello friends! I’m Kayli, and I make the paintings at modesty + mayhem. The name reflects the method, and the method communicates the spirit.

I’ve been working with different styles and mediums since I was very young, but specifically have been working with hand-cut stencils on canvas since 2004, when in high school my father challenged me to make a unique family portrait. I chose the method of creating stencils of each family member and spray painting them onto clean colorful panels and it was a success. In college, I evolved my method and started creating pet portraits using multi-layered stencils.

I eventually took on photography as my main medium (which I still do to this day). I got married, we got a home and I wanted to create some large-scale pieces for our blank walls and had been drawn to triptychs. And then the idea came to me: to use some of the same techniques as I had used to use but flip my methods inside out.

Every piece is completely unique and handmade, including the stencils which are cut by hand with my favorite X-Acto knife. I can never predict nor control exactly how these will turn out, I can only control certain elements. That’s the beauty of it. The paint will fall where it will, and there is no changing it. Sometimes it’s not perfect, but that gives life to the creations. The work of modesty + mayhem embraces the beauty of chaos and the unpredictable nature of airborne paint (the “mayhem”) in conjunction with clean lines and the respect of negative space (the “modesty”). The method communicates how important it is to appreciate the allure in letting things just be as they are, as well as the art of restraint.

the images in the main listing photos are from actual photos of original artworks that i digitally place on a neutral background to keep it clean looking. the images shown inside an interior space are actual photos of the artwork digitally placed on mock-ups so a potential buyer can envision a piece inside a home. detail shots are all from original works. images in the listing photos may differ from your purchase as each piece is individually created and completely original. some listing photos have the colors digitally altered to give an idea of custom color options (i.e. light vs. dark background).

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