Embrace Life in the Everyday
January 8, 2024 - May 6, 2024
Thomas Kelly is an award winning, New Jersey, USA based painter. Widely collected, his work has a signature style, which has its roots in Expressionism. His colorful, narrative, acrylic paintings on canvas often create a dialogue with the viewer. His deceptively simplistic paintings are both critically acclaimed and very approachable by everyday viewers. More than 350 of Kelly’s original paintings have been collected.
“My paintings are of common scenes, everyday occurrences in which people struggle to establish and maintain relationships. It is these universal emotions and situations which most interest me.”
The paintings are acrylic on canvas, which lends to the way I work. The idea begins from a tiny sketch. That sketch will have the emotional feeling or gesture that first intrigued me.
I encourage viewers to participate in the narrative by placing themselves inside my scenes and characters. When asked by viewers if their interpretation is the true one, I say, ‘The paintings must stand on their own.’ I don’t tell them that their stories often rival my own.”
Kelly’s expressionist style paintings have been featured in galleries throughout the greater area. He is represented by the Artful Deposit Gallery, Bordentown NJ, Beauregard Fine Art in Rumson NJ, the Bethlehem House Gallery in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Walter Wickiser Gallery NYC. Since 1994, his work has been shared in over 40 solo and selected group exhibitions around the world and has made impactful connections to his viewers and are part of many personal and public collections. Kelly has also been selected to share his passion in art and writing as a lecturer since 2000.
Origins of Paintings by Thomas Kelly
Embrace the Everyday at Ficus Bon Vivant 2024
This image was used as my holiday card in 2021. I love that snow covers all, even the trappings of warmer days.
Robes have the most wonderful patterns and colors. I think we are not self conscious of wearing bold choices at home, and may shy away from these in public. That is a shame.
Showing influence, yet simplified, from the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
From the Schoolyard Forever series. After the school was closed the kids did as they chose in the schoolyard.
An Eastern European tradition of placing an upside down cup on a counter or table when something is lost and needs to be found.
The tradition of Topping Out of a new building has its origins in Scandinavia. A tree is placed on the uppermost beam in homage to the forest from where the lumber is supplied from. A toast may be drunk and a meal may be celebrated.
A relative had two of these chairs from Ethan Allen furniture store in her parlor. They were comfortable and the design is terrific. Intricate yet still very natural.
From my series Very Superstitious. To drop a knife means a gentleman visitor, a fork falls a lady and a spoon a child.
From my series Very Superstitious. Holly protects against lightning and witches. Sprigs of holly were planted around houses and churches to protect from witches. Lightning never strikes Holly trees. Cutting down a Holly tree is always followed by bad luck.
Cancer from my series The Zodiac: Origins of the Constellations June 22 – July 22
Based on a sketch I made after I could not get the phrase Hotel Room by the Highway out of my mind.
I saw this watch and fell in love with the shape. The Breguet Watch. Breguet's Reine de Naples collection is inspired by an early bracelet created in 1810, for Napoleon Bonaparte's sister Caroline, Queen of Naples. Available
From my Schoolyard Forever series. Everything I learned was first learned on the schoolyard.
An age old tradition. I needed to make an actual house of cards as a model for this painting. It took 4 decks. I hot glued it together and used it for my drawing.
Nocturne, (French: “Nocturnal”), in music, a composition inspired by, or evocative of, the night, and cultivated in the 19th century primarily as a character piece for piano.
From an older sketch. The repetition of shapes has a calming influence for me.