Stephen Kelly has devoted his life to East-West arts and eco-community. He has lived and painted in the USA, Mexico, Europe, India and Thailand. He has a M.A. in Creative Arts and has extensive experience teaching children---as Mr. Fun---and adults. He has exhibited his art in many world capitols. At heart he is a playful, multi-arts troubadour of Now.
An easel holds large watercolor paper. As you wedding proceeds a painting emerges for all to see---the feelings, the energy, the excitement! Impressionistic images mirror and celebrate bride and groom and your friends in the here and now!
In the past two years Stephen has painted many diverse events. Examples are included to show his styles. Among them have been an ecocity meeting, a birthday party, a poetry reading, a dream group, an eco-fashion show, a peace rally, an Earthday event --- and a painting of his cousin Jack's wedding. Now Stephen has decided to specialize in painting weddings. This includes painting the bride, groom and minister, the wedding environment whether inside or outside, a number of special friends plus an optional photo strip of those painted. This is an unique opportunity to have a beautiful framed memory of your special day!
Stephen is also available for painting parties, meetings and events.
This is your special day! It will be a wonderful celebration of many elements of your life. Much of this will probably be photographed and/or videotaped. Great!
And a large, impressionistic watercolour painting of this important day will add further fun and a zesty flavor to this feast day. It brings a spontaneous, emotional, impressionistic dimension that only line, color, form and texture can bring! And the painting could include photo strips of those people painted.
This painting will celebrate your day of abundance: a beautiful setting, a new partner, perhaps a special minister, best friend, best man and bridesmaid, parents, relatives, their children and friends. It will be a day of champagne bubble moments, feasting, talking, dancing.
A large live painting will bring added magic. And when it is installed in an attractive frame it will be a special memorable keepsake. It can be a constant reminder to continue bringing the loving, joyful energy of your wedding day into each new day as it unfolds.
Soon after returning from 7 months in Thailand I painted Jack's and Ursula's outdoor wedding as a wedding gift. This was done in a short time--about 1 hour because it was a very short ceremony and I was still suffering from a blood clot from the long air flight from Thailand. (Take a baby aspirin when you fly a long distance!). This is an impressionistic painting that focuses on one aspect of the wedding---the golden ring.
After this event I decided to focus primarily on weddings as a business while still doing parties, meetings and events.
This was my first public painting in this format. I wanted to support the seeminly revolutionary yet natural idea of building cities in balance with Nature. Basically this means a focus on de-emphaizing and eliminating cars in favor of mass transit, bikes and walking. Tall buildings with many parks and verandas would be interspered throughout the buildings and large plazas situated below with alternative energy like solar or wind. This painting was auctioned off to support www.ecocitybuilders.org.
The image below shows me creating the painting and, above it, the finished work. This painting was auctioned off to support www.ecocitybuilders.org.
Amid the soothing yet upbeat sounds of Clare's musical friends I painted Clare, her partner Burt and many of her friends. Clare was a fellow member of the Lake Merritt Ecovillage (www.ecovillage510.org). This is a neighborhood group of free events I helped set up and has been functioning for 9 years now. I wanted to support her very alive poetic sense and sensibility with a birthday gift.
Through a friend at the Ecocity Meeting I was invited to paint a poetry group at an Alameda coffee house, "Coffee For Thought." There were many poets which I enjoyed because I also write poetry and combine poems in multi-arts performance-events. I painted very fast and did three paintings. I sold the portraint of a black poet.
This is an hour long dream group hosted by David Jenkins, a gifted and playful dream teacher with many people sharing dreams. Because it was only an hour event i again worked very fast and included a number of dreams and dreamers. The image below shows me in the middle of creating the dream painting and, above my head, the finished painting. I later traded this painting for further dream workshops.
"Stephen Kelly is an artist who comes to my groups. He usually sketches or paints while he is dream working. He works "in the moment" and, at the end of the group, he shows us his impressions of our dreams. Here are some of his watercolors of our Saturday morning group. He was good enough to allow me to display them here. They are copyrighted." David Jenkins' DREAM GROUPS.
This was a painting to support the artists who were focusing on starting a museum called the "Natural World Museum" in San Francisco that combined art with ecology. During the course of the art and music evening I painted this eco-fashion show which included natural and recycled materials as well as some outstanding eco-costumes. This was a fund raising event.
After retreating to Thailand for 9 months I returned refreshed and ready to paint this eco/political event. It focused on turning the atomic weapons lab into a "Green Lab." I experimented with using photos of the day as a frame for the painting. I wondered whether the large photos took one's attention away too much from the painting. I donated this painting to Tri-Valley CAREs (www.trivalleycares.org) to sell as a fund raiser or to keep in their office.
I very much support the idea of ecovillages within ecocities. I lived in Bangkok partly to see if such ideas were viable there. There is an impressive Sky Train that covers efficiently much of the downtown area. Also Greenpeace--Southeast Asia was active. On Earthday I painted 4 hours at their shopping mall eco-information event. I decided to include a smaller photo strip of the people I painted along with others. This small strip added some "reality" to the painting with the emphasis still on the painting. I donated the art to these lady workers of Greenpeace to keep or auction off. www.greenpeace.org.
The I-Ching is an ancient Chinese guide of practical wisdom. In this psychic reading portrait session it is used it to explore any life questions you have on work, relationships, health, etc. Or one can just pick a card of the day without a question. While the cards are being discussed Stephen is spontaneously creating an impressionistic watercolor and/or acrylic painting. This symbolizes, mirrors and expands the person's insights. This is an unique opportunity to look deeply and feel playfully what is real in one's life in this present moment. And one goes home with a colorful, frameable painting of the experience.
This was an early I-Ching portrait of an fellow Ecovillage friend. Nina is a nurse and also a fellow artist. Her question concerned the relationship between her work and art life. I painted her without looking at the paper as she picked cards because it seems to penetrate to a "deeper level", and then completed an impressionistic painting of her looking at the paper. She said she keeps it in her apt and often finds it inspiring.
Matt is my nephew and does computer work on this beautiful island. I visited him for 2 days and painted his question about his current relationship with a woman friend. His I-Ching card was "Approach." I painted his going up the stairs ready to enter a "magical garden". I used the painting of him as a brochure cover I printed to use in Bangkok.
Bob is the author of my biography called "Mr. Fun: The Man Without Secrets". We worked on it in Thailand in 2005 and 2006. We have known one another for over 30 years. Bob's question was about pursuing his budding biography writing career. The cards included "The Creative" and "Turning Point" which were a balance of yang and yin action.
Evan is an artist friend who paints and designs silk clothes in India, sells them at Harbin Hot Springs in California and vacations in Thailand. Evan didn't have a specific question so he just picked a "card for the day"! I painted him looking and not looking at the paper. I also included images of his love of snorkling off southern islands and the Bangkok street scene.
In 2006 Stephen lived and painted for 7 months in Thailand. His studio was near beautiful Benjamiri Park and the easy to use and speedy SkyTrain. He completed 10 paintings here----while also meditating alot, studying the Thai language, getting massages, visiting art openings, and taking Salsa Dance lessons!
All of Stephen's painting can also be spontaneously explored , interpretated and performed with meditation, music, dance, poetry and photos with or without audience participation. Stephen has performed many theatre events over some 30 years from Beauty and the Beast, to the Odyssey, to The Earth Charter and The Kama Sutra Ramayana. Right now we is focusing a performance of the book "A New Earth" by Erkhart Tolle.
Large paintings 20" x 28".
I found a wonderful photography book at Asia Books in Bangkok called "The Universe". It starts from Earth and expands out into the Universe. There are many galaxy images. (I used to call myself SK + my age to celebrate myself as a personal galaxy when I lived at Project Artaud a city block artist warehouse in San Francisco). Like the view of Earth from space, galaxies can truly inspire! I wanted to bring this energy simply into a painting. I also felt like exploring a "dripping technique" with fast drying and shinny acrylic paint.
This was one of my first paintings in this studio. It explores tantric sensuality and transcenDANCE! It goes from "gross" sensuality towards joyful Superconsciousness and into Emptiness. It encourages keeping sexuality "conscious and included" in all aspects of our lives. Aware Fun!
One of the reasons I was living in Bangkok was to explore the possibility of ecovillages within an ecocity. I feel that unless we build cities in balance with Nature we are condemning our species to de-volution through sprawl. We don't have to continue to keep looking in the "rear view mirror" of city buildings. We can live in the present and build with nature. Its a choice of evolve or die. Which is more fun?
The Universe is impossibily huge---and constantly evolving. We humans --- men mostly --- keep building more atomic weapons to protect our "tribe" --- nation or corporation --- yet be doing so we are planning suicide. A woman whispers to the "boy-man" a simple word "Peace!" Peace means flowing moment by moment with Nature and letting go of egotic fear.
For some 35 years I have done "simply complex" nature drawings with alot of "space". Images included planets, suns, moons, birds, snakes, pryramids, trees and dancing men and women. The Basics! Now I am painting color more into these images.
This painting is also an art memory of the 16' cob (earth - sand - straw - water) turtle cottage I had built and lived in in the backyard of my Lake Merritt Ecovillage community house in Oakland, California, where we had 15 - 20 free monthly events on all kinds of topics from 1998 to 2004. The cottage had a turtle head, a monkey fireplace, a unicorn holding up my loft bed, a flying elephant sculpture, a heart window and an outside grotto with a pregnant angel with big EYES!
I have often been drawn to paint beautiful women goddesses partly as a yin-yang balance to our patriarchal cultures. This painting expresses my explorations of Mantak Chia's "micro-cosmic orbit" explainted in his book "The Multi-Orgasmic Couple". It calls us to integrate male and female aspects of ourselves--to survive and thrive on Gaia, mother-lover Earth.
For more than 30 years I have explored integrating multi-arts in theatre---meditation, music, painting, poetry, dance, photos and audience participation. This painting focuses on our Cosmic dance as humans between Sun and Moon. We are each the Cosmic Wo/man dancer and also the tiny white circled little being celebrating this evolving mystery."
I read "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle 3 times while in Bangkok. It explores how simply being alertly "present" the ego and its side-kick the "pain-body" can dissolve. We can learn to live on Gaia/Earth with "acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm". I painted this by doing a drawing of myself looking in the mirror without looking at the paper. I looked to color it in. To me it has a "little prince"/Mr. Fun feel along with deep "wondering" ..... this moment -- not knowing.
Again the book "A New Earth" and its focus on the "pain-body" was a theme here. As attention drops down from the "monkey mind" in the upper part of the painting the energy can gradually flow into a "Garden of Earthly Delights". Window doors and flowing water symbolize this moment--not knowing but enjoying.
Starting from painting spirals I evolved into painting a planetary woman with a focus on the "third eye" among the free floating cosmic spirals as well as a "survive and thrive" earthy belly.....being grounded in our home planet.