acrylic (74) celebrity (35) charcoal (11) charity (4) craft (4) dogs (23) ebay (1) graphite (24) illustration (5) landscapes (8) oil (3) pet portraiture (28) portraiture (60) signage (5) sketch (10) still life (3) video (1) vintage (10) watercolor (3)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Graphite Portrait

Lucy, graphite, 11x14", private commission
Here is my latest graphite portrait. It wasn't exactly a year ago when I was first asked to do one of these graphite child portraits and now I am having trouble counting how many I've drawn. This particular portrait is of one of my wife's co-workers who had purchased one of my portrait certificates at a Christmas fundraiser for the private school at which I teach. She (the co-worker AKA Lucy) is not 8 years old, of course, but picked out this school picture because her mother loves it and Lucy wanted to give her mother something sentimental and extra special this Christmas. I love the curls in her hair and had fun erasing to get those hair highlights. Erasing strands of hair in portraits makes the whole process unbelievably easier. Also, I really tried to frame her little face but enhancing the shadows in her hair, especially around her cheeks. Doing this also helped to unify the dark shade of her eyes which was made using a 8B pencil. Let me know what you think and remember - this would make a great gift for a friend or loved one anytime. Contact me if you are interested! - Jared

Friday, October 31, 2008

American Gothic Meets Captiol Ward Fall Festival

Fall Festival 2008 Backdrop, 8x6', acrylic on paper dropcloth

Every year my church holds a Fall Festival as a safe alternative to the traditional trick-or-treatin' which has in the past been door to door in dimly lit neighborhoods. It's really a lot of fun with plenty of food, prizes, treats, and awards. It's also a good central location to see all your church friends and their very creative costumes! After the party gets started in the cultural hall it's on to the Sunday School class rooms where familes hand out candy to guys and ghouls. My wife made cute severed hands out of plastic gloves filled with candy corn and popcorn. We both dressed as Legos made from large cardboard boxes with plastic containers glued on one side. It was a great time and I am looking forward to next year. - Jared

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunflower Farm

Sunflower Farm, oil on Masonite, 24x12" (diptych), $300

Well I am working on another abstract. Though it is still in the works, I kinda enjoy letting you all see the intermittent stages of each piece. I hope to start posting videos soon and I think that will be even better. Like I mentioned earlier, these abstracts are out of my comfort zone so after a while I have to do something traditional, like this landscape taken from my last trip to Kentucky to visit my wife's family (with my wife of course). Her in-laws are growing sunflowers now for ethanol. Though I missed the peak of the flower blooms, I did manage to find a few. This was a fun "breather" for me amid the chaotic abstracts that are flying off the easel. - Jared

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Almofadhina Petulante

O Castigo do Almofadhina Petulante, scratch board, 5x7, private collection

This is the second book cover for a Brazilian client of mine. It is part of a larger series of books that will be published in Brazil, each influenced by the historical "cordel" style literature of Brazil. These are very clever stories, as far as what I can understand with my Spanish background. I have had immense fun in creating these. I have two more to complete and hope to have them on this blog soon. Please check out the first book of the series again if you'd like. - Jared

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Final Rendering - Doctors Finley

Doctors Finley , acrylic on canvas, 40x30", commission
Here's a look at the final rendering of this most recent portrait commission. I love the addition of the stained glass though I won't lie - I loathed the process of adding it! Both doctors have spent their lives working in genetics and specializing in pediatrics. All of this is evident in the imagery. I especially like the symbolism in the stained glass in that it alludes to genetics being the building blocks for life; individual pieces, such as cells, that combine to create a larger entity. This painting will be presented on the 23rd in Birmingham, Alabama. Feel free to opine - Jared K.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Bella, acrylic on canvas, 16x20", commissioned
This painting is for my brother-in-law. His only child is a bulldog named, Bella. I have been swamped in the middle of a double portrait commission and this painting was a fun diversion for me. It took about three hours from start to varnish. If your interested in a similar pet portrait, please email me. Enjoy - Jared Kelley!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Roman Piazza, acrylic on canvas, 9x12", NFS
Private Collection of Rep. Joseph Mitchell, Montgomery, AL

I love the different colors in this piece, many of which are a change for me - the lavendars, bright magentas, red oxides, and oranges. A local arts and crafts store is going out of business and while I believe the most reasonable prices for paints can only be found on the internet at wholesaler sites, the liquidation prices of these local supplies are unbeatable. So I bought a massive amount of paint. All you artists out there can understand me when I say I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I came home from the arts and crafts store! Expect to see more of these colorful interpretations! - Jared K.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ferry Line

Ferry Line, acrylic on canvas, 10x8", SOLD

My wife and I were able to attend a good friend's wedding in Aransas Pass, Texas. While there we stayed on Mustang Island which required us to use a ferry. This is a mundane system, I'm sure, for the locals who may use it daily, but it was an exciting ride for me as I have never been on a ferry before. Now here's the odd thing - the ferry only carries passengers five blocks across the water. Just five blocks! You can see the other side before you even move. After noticing this tidbit I had to ask myself, "Why not build a bridge instead?" Apparently, the ferry has been in use since the early 80's; over twenty years of maintenance and energy usage when a bridge built for a fraction of the cost would have been sufficient! No doubt it's the product of highly qualified political statesmen putting your tax dollars to good use:) - Jared

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vovo Julia Sketch

Vovo Julia sketch, scratch board, 5x7", NFS

This is a sketch I did for a patron who is making a series of books that contain Brazilian
folklores. These books are called "cordels" and they were started by the poor working class in Brazil many decades ago. I love this graphical interruption from the full color portraits and landscapes that normally fill up my days. -Jared

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New commission works

Here's a preliminary sketch that I have been working on these last couple of days for a local doctor. The husband and wife are Dr. Wayne Finley and Dr. Sara Crews Finley, both influential physicians in the field of medical genetics, especially in Alabama. The local doctor, here in Montgomery, that has commissioned this painting was a former student of the Finley's and has collaborated some of his colleagues to honor the couple at a gathering this August. Dr. Payne decided to talk to me about this particular piece after viewing my works at Baptist Medical Center East in Montgomery, AL. I will keep you all posted with the progress on this piece.

~~~~~~~~Additionally, I have not been able to upload much work lately due to a recent move. My wife and I moved into a three bedroom apartment to accommodate my increasing art production and to make room for my father who has decided to come stay with us. It's an enormous change of lifestyle but one that I am grateful for and one that my wife has graciously endorsed. Anyhow, I will be uploading more about my new studio space and artworks. May you all fare well with your art ventures! - Jared

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ledbetter Rains

Ledbetter Rains, acrylic on panel, approx. 11x22", $400
(scroll below to purchase)
This piece was inspired by the southern storms that I have grown up with. I love a good thunderstorm! I lived out west for a couple of years and it was the thunderstorms that I missed the most. In this piece I tried to capture the magnitude of the clouds. I especially like the areas where the rains are scant and just beginning. The golden hills compliment the ominous dark blues and violets of the clouds. I have many more paintings planned in this vein. For other landscapes that inspired this piece, check out Don Tiller's website. -Jared

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Latest Commissioned Portrait

Private Commission, acrylic on canvas, 24x30", contact artist for commission prices
I apologize for the absence of posts. I have been extremely occupied with various commission related projects. My latest commissioned portrait is posted above. This job opportunity came through my father. A co-worker of his mentioned the idea of commissioning a portrait of her boyfriend's mother. My father was eager to give her my contact info and here's what transpired. This particular client wanted to give her boyfriend a birthday gift that would replace some of the grief that he has experienced due to his mother's passing 3 years ago on his birthday. I commended her for her thoughtful and compassionate intentions and promised her a great portrait. I used what few images my client was able to acquire for me and added the pearls and matching earrings as a last touch. This piece is one of my favorites. - Jared

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Big Gulp" Credit Card Art

Big Gulp, acrylic on credit card, approx. 2.5x3.5", SOLD
This is the second piece in my experimental credit card venture. I thought that large soda was great for the subject matter since credit cards are used for everything including $2 fast food purchases. I think that I heard the average college grad has $7,000 in credit card debt. It makes me sick to think that our society could potentially fall to its knees if a major credit disaster happened. My sister took the photo that inspired me to paint this. (check it out here). I can't wait to goof off with more of these commodity themed paintings. Give it a shot yourself and send me a pic. You can use those phony AMEX cards that come in the mail. Chao! - Jared

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fishers' Wharf

Fishers' Wharf, acrylic on canvas, 12x16", SOLD
This is my newest painting. I loved the colors on these fishing vessels. The reds, blues and whites compliment the warm yellow oxide base coat. I especially liked the reflections in the water. I find that water is a great aid in adding interest to a landscape composition, allowing you to carry colors in virtually any direction in order to enhance the visual appeal of the painting as a whole. This was painted on a museum depth canvas which allowed me to continue the image around the sides. I love the "extra" little bit that the deep sides add to the piece.
On a side note, my last entry of the dog portrait was viewed by the pop artist, Nathan Janes. (You can read his comment on the post below) I visited his website and was captivated while laughing the whole time. I would suggest that everyone visit his page. He really brings out the emotions of our four-legged friends! - Jared

Friday, June 6, 2008

New Dog Commission

Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 16x20", commissioned - contact artist for price
Here's my second doggie portrait ever! I usually get photographs from patrons of either their relatives or pets for portrait commissions. This is because I don't have any of the expensive lights, cameras and PC programs to take professionally ranked images myself. So, I tend to get mediocre photos from dated family albums that make it difficult to capture a truly inspirational painting. This little pup was captured in a photo but the photo itself was not very inspiring. I added many colors to this piece to give it more life (because we all know this little devil has plenty of spark) and I additionally zoomed in close on his head. I think that it came out very well. I hope to do more of these in the future! If you want to see some really great pet portraits check out the works of Ron Burns. Have fun - Jared

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cedar Pocket

Cedar Pocket, acrylic on panel, approx. 22x18", $300
(scroll down to purchase)
Here is a larger landscape taken from a cross-country trip I had with a friend of mine years ago. I was fascinated with the mountainous terrain and I have always been intrigued by highways and roads. This piece follows two others of the same vein, just smaller. (Virgin River Canyon, and Canyon Highway.) I thought this turned out alright - I would have liked the clouds to have been a bit more flawless in their rendering as well as the mountain. At one point I felt that the span of concrete on the bottom left was too empty, so I added some graffiti on the wall. Then I felt that the graffiti became the focal point - the first thing that got attention. So I subsequently painted it out. I think the more tame, final version (without the graffiti) is more marketable and appealing. Let me know what you all think: graffiti or no graffiti? - Jared

Friday, May 30, 2008

Aegean Cathedrals - SOLD

Aegean Cathedrals I, Acrylic on canvas, 11x14", SOLD

Well, I have been posting very seldom as of late. There's no good excuse - just that I can't seem to multitask well; that's great if your a bomb technician, but not so good if your an average Joe. I have recently found a gallery here in Montgomery that I am pleased with and by which I am now being represented. The gallery is Charleston House and the co-owner, David Owen, is an accomplished artist. I have been working hard to paint the subjects that I enjoy, like this travel piece of the Greek Coast, with the hope of building up a descent portfolio and eradicating that tell tale collegiate portfolio filled with unrelated assignment pieces. I will be producing several landscapes in the near future, and have already, so tell me what you think about the new direction and forgive me my long siesta. - Jared

Monday, May 26, 2008

Anniversary Portrait on Cardboard

Monica's Parents, acrylic on cardboard, approx. 9x12"
A few days ago my wife and I shared our 2nd anniversary. So with the summer being a major anniversary season I thought I'd post an image of a anniversary painting that I did for a friend of mine. Obviously the hairstyles and clothing are a bit dated but I thought this was a great idea for an anniversary gift especially for one's parents. It was well received and I had fun painting it. I used cardboard but I think that you'd have to be told in order to know. So congratulations to all who may be sharing anniversaries this summer season and also to all those who are getting married. May you have many more anniversaries that you can contact me in the future for an anniversary painting like this one! Chao - Jared

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Photos From the Senior Exhibit

Here are a few photos of my senior exhibition at AUM thanks to my father-in-law, Bill. I am very happy that it is all over. It took a lot of time and effort but of course that was why it felt like a success. There were more than 30 pieces in the show with the majority being figurative works. The only complaint I have it that the gallery space at AUM is equivalent to a large janitorial closet. But there was a good turnout throughout the week and for that I am very appreciative.
Now that I am done with AUM I would like to say that if you are a dedicated artist or desire to be one then AUM isn't the school for you. I went out of convenience and I partially regret that decision. Look for a school that has a dedication to the arts, unlike AUM which is primarily focused on business. Also, I wish that I had been coached on what the real world is like once out of college. What's the best way to promote your art? to sell it? to get commissions? to compete well? Sure it's great to joke about being starving but once you're there I speculate that you're not joking about much - you're cursing it. I now look forward to daily painting and working on building a hearty portfolio for gallery submissions. Stay tuned - Jared

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Collie Dog, acrylic on canvas, 11x14", SOLD
Here's a fun commission piece I had not too long ago. I couldn't remember when the last time was that I had painted an animal when I was asked to paint this collie. I thought that I was in for it but it actually went much faster than I had anticipated. I began with a raw sienna base coat and then drew in the details with white conte chalk. I then painted the dark values, then the mid tones, and left the white highlights for last. I really enjoyed this commission and can't wait to paint another pet portrait. - Jared

Monday, April 14, 2008

Senior Exhibition Flyer

If you live near Montgomery, AL please come and see the show but for everyone else you can check back here and see postings of the exhibition after the show ends. Thanks - Jared

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Deceived Detailed Breakdown

(For the story behind the painting, see below. Thanks for visiting my blog! - JK)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Critique on Auburn University Montgomery

Deceived, oil on canvas, approx. 24x24", NFS
In May I will be hosting my senior show at AUM showcasing my work during my undergraduate studies. As all graduating Fine Art students, I want this gallery exhibition to be poignant and to encompass the essence of my greatest lessons learned during my four years at AUM. I have therefore given it much thought.
Deceived is a visual analysis of my experience within the AUM Fine Arts Department. I was given a full tuition scholarship my freshman year which remained with me throughout my sophomore year. However, when the Dean of the Liberal Arts position changed and scholarship renewals came around, my scholarship was reduced to half tuition even though I remained one of the top art students in the department (according to professors with 20+ years of AUM tenure) and held a 3.70 GPA. Of course I was baffled and inquired of the Liberal Arts Dean as to why the suspension of half my tuition scholarship. Reluctant to give me the time of day, he said that there were more promising students.
Later, when talking with a close professor and mentor who was part of the scholarship committee that had adversely affected my award, it was revealed to me that the sculpture professor, whom I had never met, felt that I should not receive the full tuition scholarship due to foundational courses which I had not yet taken. I had never been advised to take these courses during my first two years. This sculpture professor subsequently divulged to me the following year that she thought I had arrogantly neglected basic art courses in order to take advanced painting classes and confessed to me that she had no plans on treating me fairly in her class. This latter statement proved to be harshly true.
But that's it. I appealed to deaf ears and decided that AUM had turned a cold shoulder on one of their most promising fine arts students. This painting will be front and center at my Senior Art Show! JK

Friday, March 21, 2008

Self Portrait

Untitled, graphite on black paper, 18x24" NFS
I saw an article about a young female artist who started working with graphite on dark papers especially black tones. Graphite acts inversely on black paper with the thicker layers appearing as bright highlights and the paper itself acting as the darkest hue. The neat quality to this approach is that if the lights aren't set just right it actually appears to be an empty sheet of paper. However, take a few steps in one direction and BAM - the art magically materializes! I haven't sprayed this piece with fixative yet because I am afraid of the effect it might have on the metallic highlights of the graphite. I plan on doing more drawings in this style just for fun. Tell me if you like this or not -JK

Saturday, March 1, 2008

American Standards I & II

American Standards 1&2, Linocut, 6x12" ea. contact artist for price
I created this print after Simulacramorphous and they support the cultural commentary format. I have tried to illustrate two distinct faces of America. I think that everyone will find imagery in either of the prints with which they understand and embrace. I am curious to know if an individual leans toward one or the other and if it is due to the different iconography embedded within the pieces or if it is due to something more fundamental such as the composition or balance of contrasts. Each print in the edition is $100. Subscribe to my blog and get the next updates on my prints! JK

Friday, February 29, 2008

Simulacramorphous-HAPPY LEAP YEAR

Simulacramorphous, 11x22" woodcut, contact artist for price
Try placing that word on the Scrabble board! This is one of my first attempts at printmaking ever. This woodcut opened up a part of my creative mind that I haven't tapped into much. During the senior year of my undergraduate studies, I took a couple of printmaking classes just to fulfill some lingering electives - after all I was a painting major. Notwithstanding a very restricting first Professor, I was taken instantly with the medium and the process of black and white compositions. As a painter I spend most of my days dealing with color issues. Now, confronted with the void of hues I was free to express my sentiments in a very graphic nature - visually speaking as well as subject matter.
This piece is a strong cultural commentary. The title derives from the term simulacrum which has been used in journal essays to describe the works of Andy Warhol. Basically, a simulacrum is a copy of a copy - a watered down and distorted whisper of reality. I thought that this would serve my purpose in this image well.
Look forward to seeing more prints coming to this site soon. It's become a strong second love for me! Please contact me to purchase one of these prints. The editions are very limited. Best wishes - JK

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Lamb of God - DONATED

Behold, The Lamb of God, 40x40" oil on canvas
A local church contacted me over a year ago to create an original Nativity painting to be used for an annual Interfaith Nativity Exhibit. I immediately thought of this composition. I had never seen a Nativity piece with the Christchild as the only figure fully visible. I equally like the idea that the viewer is in Mary's place and therefore interacting with Christ. The entire painting flows with traditional classical imagery and has many significant details.
This painting was donated to the church following the Nativity Exhibit and continues to be displayed each year.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bride's Maid

Ashley, 26x52" oil on canvas
This is my little sis, Ashley. I wanted her to get something special for highschool graduation. In this piece I was inspired by the trompe l'eoil genre and messed around with it. I used a BW photograph for the reference (which I do often) and found that by keeping the landscape in greyscale it actually helped push Ashley to the foreground - she almost leaps off the canvas! I let her lower body blend more into the surrounding area by leaving only light washes of pigment. It was hard to give away!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Baptist Medical Center East

Ida V. Moffett, David Satcher, and William Gorgas, all 4x4', acrylic on panel
These were all part of my volunteer service at the Baptist Medical Center East during my senior year at Auburn University. I had a close aunt pass away after spending much of her life in and out of hospitals. I decided that there should be beautiful, meaningful pieces of art adorning the walls of hospitals because many people get their last look at life while in hospitals and why should they be stuck with drab and macabre settings? They shouldn't! I hope that my art fills the walls of many more hospitals in the near future!

More Portraits

Here are additional portraits that were done as commissions for friends.

Jesse's Wedding Gift

Charlotte, 24x36" Acrylic on mounted canvas, contact artist for price
My regular artworks were postponed by the wedding of a good friend of mine. For his wedding gift I wanted his wife and him to have a wonderful bridal portrait that I hope will become a family heirloom. As is my custom, I used more than half a dozen different reference photos to create this one-and-only composition to be separate from the hundreds of wedding day photographs taken by family members and the hired photographer.

Grace Church - SOLD

Grace, 18x24" watercolor $500
This is taken from the garden area of Grace Episcopal Church near Pike Road, AL. I thought the simplicity of the slender arched windows grounded by the beautiful flowers below was perfect for this watercolor. I plan to do more works from the plethera of photos I shot that day.

Gateway at Shakespeare Gardens - SOLD

Gateway, 18x24", watercolor $500
This is a colorful piece. My wife and I love this garden area so much that we had our engagement photos taken here years ago. It is located behind the Shakespeare theatre at the Blount Cultural Park in Montgomery, AL. The trickiest step was to know when to stop adding more colors!

Downtown Ultra - SOLD

Downtown ULTRA, 18x24" watercolor
Here's another shot of Montgomery's downtown area. This location caught my eye as I was searching for a particular street in the maze of "oneways" that is downtown. I was mostly impressed with the colors that lept out at me and I just had to shoot some reference photos so I could capture this in a painting.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Union Station - SOLD

This piece is one of my favorites. There is so much history here in downtown Montgomery. It is 18x24" and is $500.