Peter Kelly NEAC RBA (1931-2019)


Artist Statement

Peter Kelly's paintings displayed his mastery of light. His preference for a limited palette of muted, tonal colours, occasionally warmed by brighter accents, was reminiscent of the Dutch and Scandinavian Schools (in particular Vilhelm Hammershoi who he greatly admired). His treatment of architecture showed the fine Classical draughtsmanship which characterised his work. Avoiding touristic cliches, his work brought to light deserted side streets and empty arcades of Venice, Istanbul, Amsterdam, St Petersburg . . . His art was one of subtle understatement which demanded and rewarded quiet contemplation.

Method of Working

Peter established colour and composition with a sketch, small in size, but fairly accurate in colour and tone values. This may have been repeated three or four times until a satisfactory result was achieved. Converting the results of the experimental sketches to the finished painting size could take several alterations in colour and composition, but the alterations added to the finished quality of his work.

Biographical Details

2019 Died 17 April 2019
2007 Elected a member of the New English Art Club
1995 Became a member of the Small Paintings Society
1982 Elected a full member of the Royal Society of British Artists
1957– Pursued career as a graphic designer, illustrator and painter
Trained in Graphic Design at the West Ham School of Art & Technology and afterwards at the Central School of Art & Design in London

Other Society Memberships

Royal Society of British Artists (RBA), Small Paintings Group

Scholarships, Awards & Prizes

2009 Great Art Prize, Patchings Art Festival, Nottingham
2005 Award for Best Watercolour, Essex Open Exhibition
2001 Chairman's Prize, Discerning Eye Exhibition
1997 De Laszlo Medal, Royal Society of British Artists
1995 American Express Best New Painting, Discerning Eye Exhibition
1993 Jeffrey Archer Prize, Royal Watercolour Society Open Exhibition
1991 Higgs & Hill Bursary, Royal Society of British Artists
1984 Most Popular Painting, Laing Competition Final, Whitehall Banqueting Hall

Past Exhibitions

2007/08/13/14 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition
1983/2010/11/12/13 Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition
2009/10/12 Threadneedle Prize Exhibition, Mall Galleries
1992/93/96/97/98/99/2000/01/03/05/08/11 (Two Man)/12 Solo Exhibitions John Adams Fine Art
2010 Images of St Paul's in the 21st Century, Mixed Exhibition, St Paul's Crypt
1995/97/2000/01/02/03/07/09/11/13 Discerning Eye Exhibition, Mall Galleries1987/92/93/97/2001/05/06/09/10 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
1999 (Two-Man)/ 2000 Solo Exhibition, Waterman Fine Art