From the Artist, Doug Kelly: The joy of color is what has fascinated me in art. My mother was my first influence to paint watercolors by age nine. In my teens, I was planning to study commercial art out of high school, however my father, being a successful businessman, suggested I might be more financially secure if I used my drawing and artistic ability to study architecture at Tulane University, his alma mater. Since architecture combined both design and engineering, I made that choice, but my love of art has always been pursued as my most pleasurable pastime.
As an architect working in the Middle East in the seventies, I had the opportunity to have extensive travel. With my sketchbook and camera in hand, I have observed with artist's eyes and recorded scenes, always with my final intention to transform some of the images into paintings as a record of my life experiences.
Over the years I have continued with my drawings, watercolors, and have additionally used the mediums of pastel, acrylic, and oil. The search for new subjects is a never-ending quest, and I have looked for simple but dramatic features in landscapes, seascapes, street scenes and figures, with an eye for shapes of color in light and shadows.
My compositions of shapes are defined by value (light next to dark), edges (soft and hard), temperature (warm next to cool) and intensity (pure color next to neutral), and luminous greys blended with complementary colors. To me, the colors in a traditional photo for example, are of little value to the artist, except as a starting point. The artist must paint what he or she wants to see, as in the case of Monet, the most predominant and magnificant example among the impressionist artists.
Residing in Costa Rica since 1995, I have enjoyed exploring the natural beauty of this tropical country. My paintings here reflect how the colors of the sky meet the mountain ranges, the ocean, the shorelines of pristine beaches, the surf hitting the rocky shores, and the vibrant colors of tropical plants and trees. These landscapes include volcanos, waterfalls and rainforests.
My joy is to just squeeze from a full spectrum of paint pigments out of the confines of their tubes, and release their colors with a bit of ability on prepared papers, canvasses or boards. My objective is always to simplify the recreation of the chosen subjects within the bounds of the picture plane.
I have never tried to develop a "style," except perhaps as a "colorist," in the tradition of the impressionist, although I am still open to explore what may unfold in my art in the years to come.