Celia Kelly is a landscape artist working primarily ‘en plein air’. Kelly enjoys the challenge of “navigating a variety of conditions” – discerning color, form, and space within the constantly changing natural light. Plein air might seem old-fashioned, but a better description might be ‘timeless’’, for many artists a nearly spiritual relationship with the mercurial personality of the environment. Temporality shows up on the list of media for many contemporary artists, yet it has always been a part of the plein air experience, a tradition for painters that dates back several hundred years.
“A few years ago, I switched my focus from painting urban scenes to rural landscapes,” Kelly tells us. “This has allowed me to leave the city, spend an entire day outside exploring vast open spaces. I have come to love the geometric compositions offered through open fields, hillsides, rows of trees, highways, and still waters. I also look at stagnant, standing structures (such as a barn) and see how it fits into this natural environment. One of my favorite subject matters are fields of grapevines, because of the symmetrical arrangement and cultivation is involved within the rows.”
“I like to describe my painting style as one that straddles a divide between abstraction, representation and impressionism. There is a spiritual connection that occurs between landscape artist and the landscape. I attempt to capture this through the use of color, value, and expressive brushstroke. In other words, I don’t see the need to paint every leaf. When one travels, impressions are made, and I try to do justice to my own impressions of these landscapes through my work.”
Most recently, in August, Kelly participated in the notBIG group show at M.S. Rezny Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky.
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, Centre College; University of Louisville, post-baccalaureate studies, Painting
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.