Maryland Pastel Society newsletter

FEATURED ARTIST

Madeleine Kelly

Madeleine Kelly

Winter Slice

In my childhood I could be found drawing at all hours of the day and night, but only in black and white because I really didn't know what to do with color.   Raised by a single mother,  who to encourage me spent her very hard earned dollars buying me an artist's easel, which I still possess.  Sadly I ignored my obsession when my High School counselor assured me that girls can't succeed in a man's occupation.   It was 1974, money was a struggle and a female's path was perceived as limited.  I soon stopped drawing completely and attended college and followed a hundred or more other occupations to unsuccessful and somewhat successful ends.   Over the years I remained pretty distant from art.
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Tinicum Sunset


At the age of 47 I started to recognize the mortality of others as well as myself .  It was as though the brevity of life  was pushing me to do what I always knew would again become an obsession.  I started to work in colored pencil.  With my mother's encouragement, within a few months I picked up pastels, a medium which I feared as a very uncontrollable.  I struggled not only with the medium but with the basic technical constructs of painting and drawing: value, perspective, color, etc...  But I fell in love with the texture, color and versatility of pastels and kept working through the challenges.  

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Old Neighbors
I became a 'weekend painter' at first painting 11 months out of the year on my balcony outside my small third floor apartment.  Eventually I shared a very small studio with four other artists, who each secretly hoped that the others wouldn't show up at the same time so we could spread out beyond our meager individual 65 square foot spaces. Four years of part-time painting followed and then three years ago I lost my corporate position as a recruiter due to a merger/acquisition and realized that finding 'regular" work would be close to impossible.  I started to work as a fulltime artist and never looked back.  Never missing out on the day and looking out the window, from a corporate job,  at a world that I always felt was passing me by.
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Gauguins
 

I now have a 300+ foot studio where I teach small classes when I am not working on my own projects. And seven years later, at 54, I have come full circle entrenched again in a creative world.  Working 7 days a week, never knowing how I will make ends meet but never regretting the time or effort.  I am thrilled to be included among so many other creative people who view the world in an individual way.  I teach workshops and classes.   Currently my work can be found in private collections throughout the US and in galleries and shows in PA, NJ and DE. I have recently had the pleasure of being the subject of a featured article in American Artist and The Philadelphia Inquirer.   I look forward to a long journey of discovery and creative evolution.  

www.madeleinekelly.com
info@madeleinekelly.com