The accumulation of incremental moments.

Showing my artwork at the Kalamazoo Living History Show in March of 2022.

My parents always told me to strive to do my best, whatever the circumstance. Bosses told me to work equally hard at those things I didn’t like as those I did. Sunday school taught me to ‘do unto others as I would have them do unto me’. Experience taught me that retaliation is self injurious, and the high road leaves you with a much better, overall view of the landscape. These last several years solidified my resolve to seek truth over acceptance from others.

These building blocks of life-guidance, as well as the literally dozens of others that I have internalized over my lifetime so far, have slowly made me who I am today and will be years from now.

We all have aggregated mantras that build over a lifetime to help us create an admirable work ethic, a true moral compass, a living empathy for others, a tender and honest heart, solid objectivity in the evaluation of truth, and the ability to clearly view an environmental heatmap of human kind. The cumulative value is also instrumental in providing the skillset for discovering true peace, joy and wisdom in our daily life. I am truly thankful for my path so far and look forward to what lies ahead.

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” ― Vincent Van Gogh

November 27th announcement!

For this last Saturday of November I am pleased to highlight several of my themed greeting cards. The first photo is a selection of landscape scenes that I have painted and made available for writing notes to friends and family. Be it a lover of winter or fall at the river’s edge, or even the stones of Craig na Dun for the Outlander travelers in your life, this group is generalized for use all year round.

The second photo is a series themed for the Scottish Holiday season — Hogmanay. Each of these notecards have the historical attributes for the images written on the back to provide background to the paintings used.

All of my greeting cards are blank inside for your personalized message and comes with an envelope. All are individually packaged in a protective plastic sleeve. Find them in the Sales Gallery for purchase.

Prints announcement! Fun! Playful! On the runway today!

It is the next Saturday in November and just as I promised, I have a new series of great gichlee prints available in my Sales Gallery. You might not have noticed my new series of original oil on canvas board images of animals that I have been painting and adding to the Original Paintings-Animal category over the last several months. These paintings are inspired by the book series Outlander by author Diana Gabaldon and perhaps somewhat influenced by the Starz productions of those books to some degree, as well. These fabulous co-stars, and divas in their own right, are certainly vital to the cohesiveness of the stories (as they are quick to attest) and much less hindered by those performance copyright restrictions that may prohibit me from painting the human actors in the productions.

Have fun! Look for these characters as you read the books and perhaps recognize the talented actors who portray them as you tune in to the television series each season. Have a favorite? The prints are sized to fit in the openings of the standard 5″ x 7″ ready-made mattes found at your local craft or hobby store.

Greenwich Village Art Fair

This event is now days away and I am in the final stages of preparation. I have framed art, written tags, checked out the easy-up, loaded the pro panels, and created the sales gallery here in the website. Friday I go set up the housing and Saturday morning I hang the show. I think I am as ready as I can be?

What I may not be completely ready for is the fact that this is actually that moment when I must push aside my shyness, take a deep breath, and step forward as a professional artist in my home community. This is in-person and in current time period (sans costume) and …hard.

I had never revealed here on my website where in the Midwest I live and work, although I have been here in Rockford, Illinois since I moved here in 1974. It’s time to step out of the artistic shadows and begin my bloom. Like the petunia seeds that fell into the crack at the foot of my back door steps, it is time for me to ‘bloom where I am planted’ and see what my future holds.

The new year ahead.

Today is New Year’s Day and our thoughts turn to new beginnings, and making changes to our lives. No, I’m not going to start talking about diet and workout routines, and my own promises are things I will probably keep to myself. Quite honestly, I think that all of our personal lists going into 2021 are valid. This website, however, is about my work and the integral, even foundational part it plays in who I am.

Making art is more than my craft, it is an exposed insight to who I am and how I process my world. Over the last decade, becoming bold enough to show others my artwork, first in person and then online, was and is …difficult. The writing that I do here to accompany it increases the difficulty but I feel compelled to share some insights of my thoughts. My technique, my methodology, and my thought processes have all evolved steadily but this past year began an acceleration of transformation. 2021 will continue to be challenging for all of us since nothing with the magnitude of the trials of 2020, can turn on a dime. The inertia will continue to effect me, no doubt.

I intend to continue to paint and show my work here, and to look at this site over the next few weeks; closing galleries that have not proved interesting or fruitful, shifting the 2020 gallery items into their topical galleries, and exploring ways I can improve the experience for you. I appreciate the support that you have shown me. Thank you.

Kelly E. James – participating artist

As a participating artist in the 72nd annual Greenwich Village Art Fair (virtual this year) I welcome you to my website. I consider myself an emerging artist in the Rockford area (or a re-emerging artist at the very least). Let me encourage you to explore the site, especially the menu above with information and gallery tabs. There you will see my 2020 gallery of current work, as well as the topical galleries of work done before January. Enjoy the art fair and your virtual visit to my booth here on the web.

VIRTUAL 72ND GREENWICH VILLAGE ART FAIR: put on by the Rockford Art Museum and Midland States Bank the weekend of September 19th and 20th, with activities, tours, insights and the opportunity to shop with the artists who have been included in this years show.

Why an emerging artist?

Sometimes we, as the public who observe artists working and showing in galleries and fairs we attend, make assumptions that their life has been devoted to making art full time for, quite frankly, the visual age we see in front of us. The additional assumption is then, that the older an artist is the more experienced, accomplished, polished and well known they are. Reality is, however, that many artists work off and on in other careers and their art has had to take the back seat to the immediacy of life challenges and commitments.

Criteria for some might dictate solely seeing emerging artists as dependent on career stage or even age, although truthfully it cannot, or should not since an emerging artist might be 13 or 73 and still be taking that first step into the public eye.

In my case I have been making art my whole life and started towards a career in the arts in my early 20’s but couldn’t pursue it as a vocation. Over the years I have integrated my art into my historical lectures and interpretation roles but am virtually unknown to my region as a contemporary woman artist. As I approach retirement in the next couple of years I fully intend to live the fully integrated life and run my art business. With that in mind, I now consider myself as re-emerging.

The captured moment.

This morning has been so relaxing. It has been enjoyable sitting at my easel painting and thinking about friends on the North Shore of Lake Superior. It’s delightful to me that while painting I can transport myself in my mind to particular moments in time. For those of you, my friends, who were in the encampment at the Grand Portage National Monument in August of 2019, you will recall the evening when the storm blew up quickly resulting in a lovely double rainbow. It’s been rare for me to be able to see both ends of a rainbow in my life, and most assuredly I had never seen the rainbow reflect off water like that, almost creating a circle. Circles are everywhere in our lives from repetitian within our visual spheres to our relationships with people, and are most certainly demonstrated in our paths of life.

Thank you for circling back to see how this painting turned out today, and thank you for walking the circles of my life with me.

Feel free to send me a comment about the work, or that day, or our walk together.

Laying out a painting and enjoying the memories.

undefined Laying out a new painting is truly an exercise of craft – the pleasure of color and canvas and paint. When I work I look at the photographs I took and revisit the time, revisit the place, and think about all of the emotions involved in that moment. I can hear the sounds and smell the smells or feel the excitement of the people around me. These things and more help me add the right extra elements to a painting to make it work.

For those who were present at this time and place last summer you might recognize what I have begun to lay out. I’ll post the finished work so comment then and let me know if I captured the moment as you remember it.

Open House, web style

Welcome to the new look and feel for this website. Moving to a new home can be daunting and even doing it in web space can make a person feel off kilter. [Thanks to the friend who brought the truck and helped me take all this stuff to the new place.] Like any new home there is the first stage of painting the new walls for the fresh start, hooking up the technology, and the never-ending quandaries of what box ‘that thing’ was packed away in, and in which drawer the silverware should now go? The bright side is a move also gives a person a chance to rethink everything. What should each particular room (or gallery) be, or what changes do I want to make as long as it’s a new start anyway?

Some of that work is done enough for company to stop in for my open house but remember, I will probably be monkeying around with things for a while before I settle down. Here’s to new beginnings. Come on in.