Ramon Kelley OPAMLilacs and Oranges14" x 11"
24 of 31
For Sale: $6,500.00
Ramon Kelley of Irish and Mexican American descent was born in 1939 in the Spanish barrio of Cheyenne, Wyoming as the nation was recovering from the depression. One of ten children, he dropped out of school early after graduating eighth grade to make a living shining shoes, selling papers, working in a used-car dealership and took a job driving a truck for a Greek poultry merchant in his home town. He later worked as a ranch hand until he was old enough to join the Navy.

Ramon's artistic abilities where prevalent at a young age he loved to draw, even after leaving school, his drive to explore his creative talents continued while he worked long hours as a teenager. In the Navy, he had the opportunity to visit the great art centers of Europe and would study the paintings in great detail in an attempt to improve on his own work. Primarily self-taught, he later received a scholarship to the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver and by the early 1960's had settled permanently in Denver. Needing to support his wife and young son, he worked as an illustrator and graphic designer, making portrait drawings in the evenings. Jane Hiatt, owner of the Village Gallery in Taos, New Mexico, suggested Ramon move into color and paint. His career in fine art was off and running.

His first watercolor was accepted into the American Watercolor Society's annual exhibition, where it won the Helen Gapen Oehler Award. At the same time, Ramon adopted pastel and became one of the first members of the Pastel Society of America. In 1985, the Pastel Society designated Ramon a Master Pastelist and in 1986, was elected to the Pastel Hall of Fame by the Pastel Society of America in New York City. He is a member of Oil Painters of America and the National Academy of Western Art.

Kelley now is among the most recognized and collected artists in the U.S. He works in watercolor, pastel, acrylic, oil paint and charcoal. He has produced many fine art landscapes but is most famous for his insightful character portraits and his reflective nudes, almost always of beautiful Hispanic or Indian women. Earning recognition as a young artist and continuing to grow professionally, Ramon Kelley credits Russian artist Nicolai Fechin as a major influence on his strong figural painting. Kelley states, "There is no more beautiful landscape in the world than that of the female figure."

Kelley is no stranger to hard work. He knows well the emotional and technical peaks and valleys of an artist's life. He studies carefully the problems (both emotional and technical) of other artist's and tries to learn from their strengths and weaknesses. He struggles within himself to produce the best of which he is capable. The art of Ramon Kelley is full of emotion. The observer becomes one with the paintings, the character of his models, their mood and their thoughts. His still lifes of everyday objects are beautiful and enriching, allowing the patron to parallel Ramon's emotion with their own. In all mediums, he is a master. It is a joy to have and to live with his art as part of your life. Ramon Kelley’s artistic career has been dedicated to the pursuit and enrichment of fine arts.

His works are in many collections, including at the New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts and the US Military Academy Museum at West Point. Ramon Kelley has been featured in many magazines including Southwest Art and Art of the West. Best known for his insightful portraits and classic nudes, Ramon and his wife are residents of Denver, Colorado.

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