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Sometimes the simplest things are the most beautiful.

We all know the adage about appreciating the simple things in life and how it is the key to happiness. The same wisdom can be readily applied to painting.

We can over indulge in a wide variety of colours which can have the effect of dulling the overall hoped for impression.

Less can be more.

I think that was one of the motivating factors when I undertook this work.

Three red flowers, a black vase and blue table. Sounds like stage directions to a Beckett production.

Powerful stuff.

If simplicity is not your  ‘thang…then hang out awhile here.

There is something for everyone.

Happy Tuesday.


Happy Days Happy Memories

two loves

I went through a short period of filming myself painting, to capture the process.

I even went so far as to upload the finished clips to You tube, I think they can still be found under the search term ‘Jimmy Kelly art’.

The piece at the top of this post was one of those paintings.

It brings back happy memories, and I like the colour and the subject matter.

It was also when I first started using spray cans to get really smooth streams of clean colour, and also to provide focus and rest for the eye.

Happy days, happy memories.

A nice name for a painting. Naming is an art in itself, but that is another post.

Have a good week.


The boy who followed the butterfly

Butterflies are immensely chase-able. Especially to small children. I watch my own kids run after the soft white winged variety that like to feed on cabbages.

They never succeed in catching one – luckily for the poor butterfly, but the fun is all in the chase and the joy of anticipation.

This image is from a small children’s book I wrote called ‘The boy who followed the Butterfly’.  I illustrated the story myself with full scale paintings. The whole thing was terribly uneconomical but I got a kick out of doing it.

There’s a few copies still floating around somewhere in the ether.

Lately, I’ve taken to picking a painting and just taking my imagination for a walk with regards to a story surrounding the work, involving the particular painting.

These stories will be available to read…they are only about three thousand words long, but they might take you to interesting places.

It’s an amazing exercise, the story you start today could be different than the one you would begin tomorrow, for the exact same painting.

At least the painting itself provides a focus.

So watch this space for more and focus on these till then.

Wishing you a lovely Friday.


Throwing shapes

cows grazing1

Note to fellow artists.

Stand on your head first thing in the morning and stare out the window.

Regard the shapes, their unusual contours. The world upside down truly is different.

Paintings are just that. Interlocking shapes and balances of colour.

Even the most ill conceived works are not far from the best when you take shape into consideration.

Just move the shapes into more interesting positions. Do it first in your mind’s eye, failing that – just do it. (Royalty to Nike)

That is worth remembering when the self critic is in full flight.

Me? I occasionally throw a few shapes here.

Better late than never.


Creativity at Play


Downtime. You don’t get it very often but occasionally it comes along.

A pack of post-it notes and a biro can go a long way.

The power of Doodling, creativity running riot. Doodling helps me shake of the shackles of perfectionism and just allows me to take the pen for a walk, with my mind on a lead.

These post-its can be discarded. But I’m a hoarder and they fill up the drawers of my desk.

There will soon be a bonfire of the vanities, one of these fine summer days.

They’re varying fruits can be found here.

Middle of the week already.



Hitting the mark

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about hitting the mark.

Or more accurately how artists in general hit the mark or alternatively, fail to impress.

I think there is a thin line between the two.

Between writing that piece that speaks to a generation, and just writing for the sake of writing.

Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ is a good example. It sums up the horrors of war for a modern generation. It seeps into our psyche and has a conversation with it. Changing us despite ourselves.

Great art changes the artist. Great art changes people.

We can’t predict the change, when or how it will happen. We can only expose ourselves to the winds of change and allow ourselves to be malleable in its hands.

We can also educate ourselves and be aware of the issues that really matter today, both as artist and individual.

And we keep working, because the muse wants to find us working, and you never know, she might just give us the nod when we least expect it.

Keep the candles lit and have a lovely week, and browse these if the mood so takes.



Artistic Logic

four crows
Mr. Obama limits his daily choice of suits to two. It leaves him energy for the important decisions. He doesn’t need the hassle of deciding which clothes to wear when the fate of the free world hangs in the balance.

I use this logic to justify my reasons for having no interest in cooking.

There is a relation, however tentative.

I would eat the same food and wear the same clothes all year round if it was all left up to me, with obvious hygiene caveats.

‘Save your energy for the important decisions ‘ I say.

Like the subject of your next painting, or which story you would like to write.

All decisions take creative energy. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Prioritise what is important.

Clothes will come and go. Food, once eaten is gone for ever.

But a painting lasts a lifetime.

That’s my twisted logic and I’m sticking to it.

If you agree, click over to here. If you disagree, click over here.

I was never a great logician.

The Thursday of the week. Enjoy.


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