“I am an organic expressionist. I experience connection with stones, shells, the movement of the air, and the shadows as they play across the ground. I explore transcendence and inner journeys.
My work is experimental, searching for that perfect pure color, the exact line, the precise curve, stroke, or movement of the brush. I make no preliminary drawings preferring to work in the moment allowing the light, and emotion within to direct me. Working in oil, through layer upon layer of thin glazes, powdered pigments, gold and silver leaf I build upon the canvas communicating my process. With strong color and bold gestures I seek to maintain the organic flow as it is seen in nature. “
YaeL Kelley lives and works at her studio in the Artist Enclave of Historic Kenwood in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her eclectic heritage: a colonial family with Cherokee, Scots Irish and German ancestry strongly influence her current explorations.
YaeL was born in Ohio and grew up in Florida, where she sold her first work at age 14. She has lived in England, Arizona and Texas. While in England she attended Suffolk College of Art and Design. She has worked in the visual arts, in museums and in the theatre.
Her career spans more than 40 years as a professional painter, arts advocate and certified instructor/demonstration artist for several major arts manufacturers, which include Crayola Crayons, Winsor and Newton, and Daler Rowney. She is a past president and artist in residence of the Center for Contemporary Arts of Abilene, served the City of St. Petersburg on the Arts Advisory Committee, the Mayor’s Transition Team for Arts & Culture, and is a founder of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.
YaeL was awarded the prestigious 2020 MUSE Visual Arts Award recognizing an artist who has achieved excellence in the visual arts and was most recently registered as a US Department of State Art in Embassy artist whose work was recently exhibited in the embassy residence in San Salvador.
YaeL is represented in St. Petersburg by Red Cloud Indian Arts Gallery. Her paintings are in collections internationally.