About Kelly

Lockdown 2020 found us in Girona Spain, with a twelve week old baby and a box of art supplies from South Africa. Our original intention was to take a family gap year- homeschool our older kids, and learn all we possibly could about Europe within a year! In my little world- I was going to do art retreats and foodie classes in every town we visited. I was going to learn another language and become as much of a local as I could

I quickly realised that I had forgotten how much time, energy and complete self I would loose looking after a young baby. We arrived in mid-feb 2020 and 4 weeks later, complete lockdown with the rest of Spain. Even though we were completely stuck- in our little apartment, I did not get to open my art box for some time. When I finally did- I took inspiration from so many of the miniature artists I had been following.


@thisiskalvt or Kelly the Miniaturist artist posting for an article in Girona Chronicle
Why miniature? I have been completely and utterly fascinated for years by miniaturists. I admired their patience and diligence in the work, and I loved the fact that they could still leave their little mark. It made sense to work on something small. I wouldn’t have to worry about ruining expensive paints and art supplies if I literally only had a few moments here and there. Watercolours were the obvious choice. I didn’t need a large amount of space- and it was all very easily packed away. 
More importantly- small, and “teeny-tiny”, are often conversation pieces. That is what I was aiming for. I longed for people to talk about a piece- without having to talk about the artist. People tend to do that when life size becomes a mini. There is an attraction. Is it because this world is consumed by bigger must be better? Perhaps. 
I aim to re-direct to the smaller details for a brief moment. 
In the town I now live, the cathedral is the largest I have ever seen personally. It can be viewed from any vantage point within, and it attracts individuals from everywhere. The fact that it was a part of many scenes in GAME OF THRONES only adds to its WOW factor. (I am yet to watch an episode- but lets just forget I mentioned that). 
I often wonder how many of those people have taken notice of the tiny archaic-child-like carvings of faces in the door handles? Once you know they are there, and have seen them with your own eyes- the chances of you forgetting are extremely slim. Do take a look if you can.    
And so this is how much of my work evolved. Ultimately, I wanted a piece to be chosen based on emotion. 
“Your miniature
A conversation piece 
Never sad
Often nostalgic
A reminder
A time
A moment 
It’s sentimental more than anything.” 
The box of tea from South Africa was a favourite of someone’s, and not comparable to any tea in their new country. That tea reminded them of home. Something perhaps taken for granted until it was no longer available. And even though they had a life in a new place, their place of birth was still a huge part in their bank of memories. 
The front door to a specific building. The in and out daily. Not to be taken for granted. Protection from the outside world. During covid times- this was our safe place.  
A home; an insect; a mylar balloon; a stamp. These are all examples of work that I have done based around people’s treasured moments. 
Today, much of the work I am concentrating on is the individual cyclists jersey. It was an idea I had in the middle of the night, it kept me up until I could get it onto paper- and after that I never doubted it was a great work in progress. I have worked on pro-cyclists careers; and individuals who have just succeeded and wanted to have the piece to show. The thing about hanging a real-life jersey is the space they often need. They tend to overwhelm a room, and need to be very specifically placed. The miniature- is something unique and authentic. A definite conversation piece. 
My current #project2021 was to paint an individual painting for all 33 races in the UCI World Road Cycling Tour. Having these one of a kind jerseys, framed; up and ready for someone’s home or special place has allowed these pieces to become a part of everyone’s memories. It is not just the cyclist- but often the man on the street who admires them! 
I am looking forward to working on some new pieces in the sporting industry. It is something I get very excited about.  
Hopefully, sporting related or not, I can do something for you.
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