Felicity Kelham (b. Nottingham, UK 1977) contemporary painter and workshop facilitator. Living and working in The South of France. Kelham loves playing with bold colour, embodying the landscapes around her, painting from her heart and creating energetic pieces to bring energy rich living to life.How did you get into art?
The first time I felt like an artist I was 8 years old. I’d just mastered the cartwheel, really mastered it, I yearned to paint the feeling of my movement. I was full of joy with an intense physical connection with nature and announced, “I’m going to be an artist and live in Cornwall.” Not too many years later my words became reality.
How would you describe your style? What makes your art special?
My work is expressive, emotional and embodied. I play in the realm of senses and feelings. My latest collection is based around feelings felt in the wild sea. Each piece is taken into the water on a night swim, and started under the moonlight. I want to paint the feeling of diving deep into the ocean and the way our feelings change when in water.
When night swimming you have to feel the colours. They may not seem obvious at first, but the colours are still there and they are ready, waiting to be sensed and represented.How do you go about developing your work?
I paint flowing with expressive movements and as few boundaries as possible. I use breathwork, meditation and visualisation to recognize and absorb the power and beauty around me, then express it as fully as I can in each moment.
Often, but not always, my work starts plein air in nature. It can be on a mountaintop, or like this latest collection in and by the water. I bring them into the studio and sit with each piece, to get a feel for what needs, or doesn’t need adding.Who or what influences you?
One of my first influences as an early painter was the sea and nature. I’ve always chosen to live in beautiful places, and they have given me a deep appreciation of the world that we have. There’s a joy and energetic response to the beauty I am surrounded by. My work isn’t just powered by nature, but rooted in the internal and the external, emotions, feelings, smells. I am hugely influenced and powered by joy, and finding the joie de vivre in each moment, but the full range of emotion is in all my work. When I create, I see and feel the size and beauty of the universe, and I cover my canvas in.
What are you planning to do next?
More! More exploring the full range. More drinking in nature and getting energised by incredible connections. Getting ready for two solo shows in 2024 Brooklyn, New York and Saint Nazaire, France.
I’ll be leading more bespoke art workshops, because sharing this gift is a true passion of mine. My workshops are for everyone. For those who are already passionate, to bring my va va voom to them. But also for those who are just beginning, for those who need the old stories blown apart, the old limits removed. I love freeing people to create and experience more joy through my gift of art.Instagram