Oil painter Kelly Money is known for captivating depictions of skies and clouds that evoke a sense of wonder. Find more of her portfolio on her website.
I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist, even from a young age. After graduating from art school, I stayed in creative fields and worked as a set painter, textile artist and graphic designer, among other jobs. But my first love has always been painting.
Over the years I continued to study and immerse myself in learning—a forever student, I love learning about painting and drawing. To this day I still take workshops and classes. There’s always more to know! This knowledge and just the practice of making art has helped me develop a voice and style of my own.
People often ask me why I paint clouds. I’ve always loved skies and clouds. They fascinate me on many levels. I had tried my hand at painting landscapes and found the sky to be the part I was most attracted to, so that’s where I placed my focus.
As I did, I saw more and more possibilities of ways to paint them. It felt wonderful and rich, and I found myself pulling the car over to take photos, spending my time “looking up” during my trips and asking friends to do the same. What wound up happening over the last decade is something deeper than I ever could have imagined. For one, there became a universal bond connecting us. People I never met sending me images of clouds and beautiful scenes that were part of their experience. Places we had both been. Places they were that I wanted to be.
It opened up a dialogue between us—some spoken, some not. Sometimes a mood. And always a new friend. My paintings and my work became synonymous with clouds, and they often said they “thought of me.” That alone is extraordinary. Then came the magic of the clouds and their meaning. Everyone might have a different idea, but these are some that hold true for me.
Transcendence. Uncertainty. Transition. Ethereal. Beauty. Turmoil.
Clouds and skies became a metaphor for life, and how nothing stays the same. They were light and fluffy or heavy and dark. I felt myself drawn to the image and wanting to paint what I saw. But I also put my own spin on it, which can only occur when I have a relationship with the act of creation. It became a beautiful dance between the subject, the paint, unseen forces and me.
Painters often equate painting to meditation or a spiritual act and that’s probably the closest I can come as well to describing the feeling I get when painting. A practice like yoga or meditation. Some days in the flow and others not so much. Suddenly it became about the process as well as the image. I knew I was learning to see.
All that said, I do like other subjects and enjoy experimenting. I know my style is unique and unites the work regardless of the subject. I don’t set out to be a realist or work abstractly. The painting tells me what it wants, and they all have their way in the end!
Some of the themes I strive to convey are often about presence, spirituality and joy. Patience. Things I need to learn. Painting has healed me and painting is an act of love as well as necessity for me. I think my paintings will continue to evolve over time and hopefully connect people to themselves in a deeper way as has been my experience through this beautiful medium.
Kelly Money invites you to follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
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