With the aim of featuring artist and driving visibility this series will focus on sharing with you artists from all backgrounds and working in all mediums. In my inaugrual artist feature series I am proud to present Chris O’Kelley!
I work mostly in oil and ink but also gouache, acrylic, and watercolor. My biggest influences are the old masters and I have a special interest in the French Impressionism. In my spare time I like to go to museums like the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts or the National Gallery of Art in order to take in the tradition and artistic merit of past genius. While wandering the galleries I feel connected with the impetus behind great art and it gives me the tools I need to venture forward into the great realm of artistic expression. My art has an aesthetic as well as a philosophical bent. For me, brush strokes are like rays of light that are diffused upon the canvas. I like to produce strokes that dance with radiant colors and absorb the viewer’s attention so that all thought is intertwined within the painting. This absorption of the viewer’s attention is meant to elicit an ecstatic response that illuminates the eyes and minds of those that experience it. I believe that aesthetic beauty is an ideal that all artists should aspire toward. Beauty will save mankind, and I would like to take part in that salvation.
I grew up taking studio art classes throughout my primary school education but when I went to college I decided to pursue a degree in art history. I excelled in the art history program at the University of Mary Washington and graduated with the highest distinction. This proved to be an edifying experience because it connected me with the artistic current of the past and present and also provided me the tools to propel myself into the future.
Check out more of Chris’ work here: http://artfirstgallery.com/artists/chrisokelley/index.php