On Being An Artist
I grew up in a small town in Nova Scotia. Art was not a part of our existence and aside from a pair of charcoal drawings, and a group of coloured etchings that my grandfather brought home with him from Belgium in 1918, the only original art in our home was what we brought home from school in our book bags. Yet, for whatever reason, the need to create was always with me. I can recall thinking how absolutely silly it was when relatives would tell me that my artistic talent must have come from a distant ancestral cousin who painted. I may not have known much at the time, but I knew for a fact that my dearly departed ancestor had nothing to do with it; it grew from inside of me, and was being fed by how I viewed my world.
Except for a short stint of wanting to be a cowboy at age 5, I have always wanted a be an artist; or, I have always been an artist whether I wanted to be, or not. It seems to have been more a case of art choosing me than the other way around, and throughout my life it has been a constant beacon, providing hue and value to most of my visual, as well as spiritual and philosophical perceptions.
I hope that throughout my career I have been able to please many people with my paintings, and that my figurative art has been particularly pleasurable for people who understand that the qualities of sensual beauty that I instill in this art subject are just that. I have always regarded this work as a celebration of the female form and commentary on woman's commanding visual presence in our world, in addition to their humanity and intellect. I believe that it is important to appreciate beauty as an end in itself. It is as simple as being able to stop and regard the beauty of sunrise regardless of what the rest of the day has in store; and as complicated as overcoming our preconditioning to desire to see more than what we see. Allegory and metaphor exist in my artwork, or at least I hope they do, but the beauty and grace of the female form in my artwork is intended to convey just that.
Paul W. Kelley
Teaching my son to paddle
Kayaking with family past the location of one of my paintings
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