Diarmuid Kelley

Diarmuid Kelley, Vinegar and Brown Paper, oil on canvas, 9"x9" 2010

The English painter Diarmuid Kelley has a spotty and therefore enigmatic internet presence, despite having a very respectable reputation. Many of the images of his work I've found are not of the highest quality. This one seems to have glare in the lower left corner, and the file size is regrettably small, yet the quietly serious mood of this little painting reaches past that and pulls me right in. 

In a brief video, Kelley explains that he is after a "loaded stillness". How I love that phrase. As for the unfinished quality of much of his work, he says he stops painting as soon as he gets bored. As with much of his work, the title is unfathomable. 

Dean Fisher has sent in this comment:
In my opinion Diarmuid Kelley is one of the finest painters working today. For me, his work embodies the precision and rigor of drawing and formal design of Uglow with the sensuality of light on form of William Nicholson or Sargent. Bravo Diarmuid!
July is Still Life Month here in The Art Room. If you have a favorite still life you'd like to share this month, please send an image or link to the image to awakeandpainting@gmail.com


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  2. I went to his website and I rather like how he leaves many of his canvases unfinished-looking -- reminds you that it is still a painting and that this lifelike image just "appeared" out of the canvas.

  3. Taryn, If you google his titles, you'll find that many are books or movies, and many come from the Nigel Molesworth series. At least two are from songs by The Smiths. How he matches them to paintings, I don't know, but they're very British and seem to whimsically add to the Britishness of the motifs. This title is from the long version of Jack & Jill

    Up Jack got, and home did trot,
    As fast as he could caper;
    To old Dame Dob, who patched his nob
    With vinegar and brown paper.


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