True to the captivating qualities and philosophy of the Scottish Colourists, whose work he greatly admires, Robert Kelsey paints with vigour and feeling to interpret a sense of place through the power of light and colour.
“Light is generally the most important quality,” he says. “For me, the main interest and challenge of painting lies in capturing the particular translucency and clarity of light in different parts of the world.” Over the past decade or so, principally as a result of his twenty successful solo exhibitions at Thompson’s Gallery, Robert has established an enviable following and reputation for his sensitive and atmospheric oil paintings, and especially for his beach subjects.
“I’ve painted beaches and seascapes for more than 30 years,” he explains. “But gradually they have become more welcoming, warm and sunny beaches, and so I often paint in tropical and Mediterranean locations as well as in the UK. “It’s that sort of atmosphere that I am after, preferably with crystal clear turquoise water and stretches of soft sand. I like quiet, remote places, such as in the Hebrides and along the west coast of Scotland.
“One of my most memorable experiences was a visit to Barra a few years ago, where I have family connections. My father was born on the island in 1906. I was immediately overcome by the beauty of this gem of the Outer Hebrides, with the vast flat beach, sparkling emerald water, and huge sky. I also often visit Cornwall, where the light is quite different, while other familiar and inspiring locations include Brittany, Sardinia and the Caribbean.”
The majority of Robert’s paintings are made in the studio and are developed from reference material collected on location.