Erin Kelley
Merry Company

With oil paint as my medium of choice, I look to depict people in a moment of happiness. With a sense of wonder to what goes on in someone else's mind, figures typically pay no attention to the viewer before them. With interest in the human form, my focus for painting is on the figure and using their expressions to convey a window into their emotions.
Artist/Thesis Statement
I am interested in exploring the figure through the direction of light and composition. When looking at my concentration, I enjoy oil painting, specifically realism and the figure. Figuring out how to paint something to look like someone, making the skin look soft and the fabric look worn is what really excites me in painting. Being able to go in depth into a painting, and really focus hard on a small area gives a big feeling of accomplishment when I get it to a place I am happy with. The easiest way for me to work up close for detail is through photography, so a mix of photo and life is seen with most of my paintings. The idea of being able to explore the use of color and the movement of brushstrokes in my work is the biggest reason for picking the medium of painting. The act of pushing paint around the canvas brings me joy, relaxes me in a way nothing else can. Knowing this, oil painting is the best choice for my idea. For my senior capstone, I have decided to continue pushing my love for painting figures, creating different people and challenges in my work.
Have you ever been so involved in something that you love that you just forget all of
the stressors of life around you? These moments are what I am trying to capture behind the eyes of the people I am painting. Being able to paint joy, being a sense to the viewer that these people are happy is what I am trying to achieve. With a nod towards romanticism, baroque, and renaissance paintings that I have an interest in, I am working with large scale paintings, a direction of realism, and playing with my version of tenebroso lighting techniques. So much emotion and depth into personality can be expressed through the human figure, which I strive to depict in my work.

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