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Kelly McCARTHY

.Louisville-based acrylic painter, Kelly McCarthy, has been practicing art-making for over 20 years. She is best known for her energetic portraits and abstract paintings which vibrate with color.  Self-taught, Kelly has had an easel in a corner of her home since before becoming a mother in 1998. This claiming of studio space within the domestic realm allows her to weave being an artist into the fabric of motherhood, homemaking, and family life.


Growing up in small town Ohio, Kelly recalls her first enchantment with color occurring when kaleidoscopic light spilled through the stained glass windows of church, dancing on, and seemingly with, her and her girlfriend’s legs. Today, nature is her church, and she continues to perceive energetic connections everywhere- from the pine tree in her side yard to the fractal mandalas of flowers, cells, and even breath. She is mesmerized by wilderness and by the way we exist within the liminal world.  


While at university, Kelly learned how to mix paint and stretch canvas. She fell in love with the work of Frida Kahlo, Alice Neel, Mara Friedman, and Alex Grey.  Kelly is specifically intrigued by the life force at the creative intersection of mother and artist, of chaos and order, and in the quantum ways that we shape reality.  She recognizes the potential of collaboration, and also the evolutionary power that individual artists possess.

Kelly’s paintings reflect the juicy, creative flow that she lives with her family. These paintings are dynamic depictions of points in time- an effluence of healing into the eternal now. They are a sort of acupuncture- a stylostixis- of healing through presence and intention.  Kelly is interested in the interplay of color and shape, and how these facilitate deeper states of awareness. She continues to explore ways of marrying her abstract and portrait work.  Works by Kelly are in the private collection of individuals throughout the US.