Kelly Money lives in New Hope, Pennsylvania, a pastoral suburb of Philadelphia, with her husband, two young sons, and their dogs. Her house is set far back on a quiet country road lined with rolling fields and picturesque barns, but her sight is set above the horizon line. It’s the sky that speaks to her. Every configuration of cloudscape tells a different story, and Kelly is compelled to capture each one on canvas.
Working primarily in oils, she is a lifelong painter who has lived in California, Santa Fe, and New York. Her unique style has been inspired by those diverse landscapes as well as their regional artists, such as New Mexico landscape painters, Hudson River School artists, and California impressionists.
While studying at Mason Gross School of the Arts in Rutgers, Kelly experimented with a variety of mediums, but after graduation she found herself where she had begun as a child – painting. For years she painted anything and everything: still lifes, landscapes, riverbanks, bridges, and pastoral scenes.
One day she invited a friend to her studio where she had set up a wall filled with recent work. Her friend’s gaze landed on a modest canvas tucked between larger ones, a small square of sky.
“That one,” she said, “there’s just something about it.”
Shortly after, Kelly entered the piece, “Morning After the Storm,” in a juried show where it sold immediately. After that there was no turning away from the ever shifting skies.
Kelly has an almost overwhelming desire to capture as many configurations as possible. After playing with various proportions of land and sky, she now focuses on low horizons and big, evocative clouds. The ground is often misty, sometimes vague, and deliberately so. It could be the soft hint of a shoreline, a sand dune, or field. A story is always there, hinted at, suggested, but the blank spaces are waiting to be filled in by the viewer, inspired by their own memory bank and emotional response.
“I like to create a story. That’s what draws me in, and often what people respond to in my work.”
Her subject may be singular, but her style is not. There are soft and blended cloudscapes, dreamy and ethereal, with various degrees of light and shadow, while others are sharper and more defined. There is an intriguing moodiness in her some of her work, and in others a playfulness, even levity, as rays of light filter through the clouds.