Scott Kelley’s paintings of the flora and fauna of south Florida has made him one of our favorite artists. Many of his works, available at Surovek Gallery, are from the sketches he created when he visited the Florida Swamps in 2019.
Kelley was born in Binghamton, New York in 1963 and spent family summer vacations in Maine. He seems to always have had the gift of seeing and drawing the fine details that he observes in his subjects and imbuing them with a sense of wonder and awe.
Kelley lives and works on Peaks Island, Maine, with his wife, Gail, their son, Abbott.
Kelley became intrigued with birds, especially Blue Herons, more than a decade ago. “All these years later,” he wrote, “I am still painting Blue Herons. Every time I think they are done, I see them do something else I never saw them do before, and I paint more. Just this morning, we were down on the beach, and Abbott, our four year old son, started jumping up and down out of excitement because there were more than a dozen herons down there, looking for their breakfast. Abbott, like me, it would seem, just can’t get enough Blue Herons.”
After studying at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York, he attended the Slade School of Art in London and a fellow at The Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
He was awarded a fellowship to the Edward Albee Foundation in 1993. In 2003 Kelley was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. The grant provided him the opportunity to travel to the Palmer Station in Antarctica, where he created paintings of his surroundings.
In 2018, the Islandport Press published I Am Birch, written and illustrated by Scott Kelley. The book is about a birch tree that does its best to protect the forest. It was inspired by Wabanaki legend. Kelley uses earnings from his book to fund a nonprofit that will make grants to help Wabanaki artists buy materials and supplies.
Kelley spent a few weeks in New Mexico in the fall of 2019. The drawings and paintings that he did during his trip will be exhibited at the the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe on June 25th, 2021.