Barbara Kelley was born to a couple that survived WWII, moved to the territory of Alaska and built a log cabin. The firstborn slept in the top drawer of the dresser ~ a rather unique bassinet. In that small cabin, with one light, and water piped to the kitchen, it was an early winter when the ground and waterline froze. Her dad raised the wooden floor of the closet and dug a well for indoor water. The pioneer philosophy is an integral part of her creative process. New frontiers, experimentation and exploration are evident in her works.
Her works, recently selected to join the Pat Clark International Art Collection at the Ellsworth Foundation in Iowa Falls, joins a collection, which includes works by Man Ray, Japanese artist Kojiro Akagi, and Danish artist Leif Peterson. Her works are also in public collections of the Brooklyn Art Library, Kaiser Permanente, U.S. Department of State, Art in Embassies Program, Visual Artists’ Registry. Private collections of her works reside in Australia, Canada, Europe, and throughout the United States.
She now creates works at the Moon Catcher Studio, located in the heart of the wine country in Sonoma County, California and at her second studio overlooking the Pacific Ocean located about 2 hours north of San Francisco in the scenic community of The Sea Ranch.
My works are influenced by sensory memories and although I may or may not have clarity of the composition when I begin creating a work, I know it will take me on an autobiographical journey. Memories of the sounds, echoic memories, and the visual, iconic memories, and the feel, touch or smell of surroundings are my creative guideposts. For me, even a brief experience imprints the sound of wind or wildlife, the temperature of the air and water, the feel of the dirt and plant life, and all things visual. I translate these memories into my prints and paintings.
The "Kimono" monoprint series began as my moments of comfort, reflecting on friendships and travels. These Kimono's are my symbols of the commonality of all peoples and my sign of respect for differing values, cultures, and social structures. In my oil painting "Winter in Pueblo" I interpret my memories of life in the southwest, the Sandia Mountains, winter in quiet communities awaiting spring. In the "Water" series, it is my awareness of the absolute power of water and its necessity for all living creatures.
I strive to create a visual language that is both evocative and straightforward and that provides a sense of meditative inner calm. The title I give to each work holds a key to understanding its story.