Curtis Kelly's Home - An Extension of Her Art

   The Palm Beach Daily News published the following article in the Real Estate - Home Showcase section on Friday February 28th, 2003.
   "Curtis Kelly's Home an Extension of Her Art" By Christine Davis.
   Curtis Kelly's pink bungalow in Grandview Heights (above) is set up to showcase her art collection, her own oil paintings and gouaches and her husband's collection of Western art.
   Cream walls create a perfect backdrop. The lines of her white sofas are simple, as are the lines of her antique furniture. Dark hard wood floors are covered with oriental carpets. Lamps and accessories are white.
   Once the environment is set, don't let anything stop you when it comes to hanging the paintings you love, advises Kelly, who has been painting ever since she moved to Florida 15 years ago.
   Everything was right, she says, the light, the timing and the weather. She bought a little Spanish bungalow in Palm Beach, converted the garage into a studio and started painting. "I thought leaving New York would be culture shock, but once I discovered Palm Beach, I felt I'd found home."
   A few years later, on a trip to her hometown in Michigan, she reconnected with her childhood sweetheart and her life took another unexpected turn. "His mother was visiting my mother," she recalls, "and I asked about Bernie, whose wife had died two years earlier. His mom said 'Why don't you call him? He's just down the road." She hadn't talked to him since grade school, but she called, they arranged to meet, and shortly thereafter they married. "It was like something out of a storybook," says Kelly. "I guess I'm a late bloomer in more ways than one."
   They moved from the Palm Beach bungalow to a larger British Colonial/Craftsman-style house in Grandview Heights, which Bernie is renovating--and to which he is adding a new studio. "He has to be finished soon, because we're on the Grandview Heights historic house tour on April 13th. It's a great motivator," she says.
   Kelly's work has gone in two directions: She paints still lifes in highly saturated colors and uses pattern on pattern. "It feels slightly baroque but with a modern twist," she says, noting that she admires the work of Henri Matisse and feels her work resembles his in terms of color and pattern.
   She paints in oils and gouache, a water-soluble medium with more viscosity than watercolor that lends itself to the color and patterns she likes. In her work, you will often see flowers in a flowered vase against a flowered background.
   She never works from photographs. She collects objects, which might work into her paintings. "I have a huge collection of glass and pottery and I also scour fabric shops for odds and ends, and I look for rich fabrics with great color. I'll go to the florist and poke around. They know me and let me go into the back room. Then  I set them up--that's almost an art in itself. You have to get your composition right in your setup or it won't be right in your painting."
   A year ago, Kelly started doing abstract work. "I believe an artist can have more than one direction. I think in some ways that helps you grow. What you learn from the abstract     (continued on picture)

Bernie and Curtis

British Colonial/Craftsman in Grandview Heights before renovation. It's across the street from the Pink Bungalow.

More of Curtis Kelley's work Profile in The Palm Beacher Magazine

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