Saturday, October 6, 2012

Illustrator of the Week: Gary Kelley

Gary Kelley studied painting and design at the University of Northern Iowa earning a BA in art. His early career focused on graphic design and art direction until the late 1970’s when painting and design experiences merged into career as illustrator.

As an illustrator, his awards have included 27 gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York; also Best-In-Show recognition in New York and Los Angeles Illustrators’ Exhibitions. He was elected to Society of illustrators (NY) Hall of Fame 2007.

His list of clients includes work for Time, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, and Playboy Magazines. Also, The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe, Hartford Stage, Arena Stage, The Santa Fe Opera and Geffen Playhouse, pluse numerous advertising and design firms. He created the murals featuring famous authors for Barnes and Noble Bookstores nationwide. Has also worked for the NFL and the NBA and was the official artist for the 2002 Kentucky Derby.

Gary's earlier work in pastels was reminiscent of the Polish Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka whose clean and elegant technique was sometimes called "soft cubism."  Here's a couple examples of her work:

Examples of Gary Kelley's work follows.  You may have seen his mural art of famous authors above the cafe section of many Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Gary's more recent work has evolved a bit away from his earlier style.  Not only has his color palette changed, but his figures have become slightly flattened and more angular...

Mr. Kelley usually works in pastels, but sometimes creates monotypes for his illustration and fine art projects:

He also works in oils:

Watch a pastel demo by Gary Kelley HERE.

Gary Kelley is represented by RICHARD SOLOMON ARTISTS REPRESENTATIVE, LLC. where you can see 
more samples of Gary's work along with the work of many other excellent illustrators.

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