We sit down with Kelley Goldsmith,
the Featured Artist of September 2019
ACG: Tell us a little bit about your life before you became an artist.
KG: I have been married for 36 years with 3 kids. I did lots of creative things, was a pretty good seamstress. I always made great Halloween customs. Starting with my younger siblings when I was about 10 and my kids, I almost always won an award in our local Halloween parade. I always loved old stuff and had an antique store for seven years in CO. That has carried over to my still lifes. When we moved here 12 years ago, I came with the intention of pursuing painting.

ACG: Did you do art or artsy things growing up?
KG: I can remember being about three and watching my mother doodle and it was like magic. She was a good drawer and appreciated art. I always loved to draw. My grandmother was an oil painter and I wanted to do that too. I painted my first oil painting when I was 10 and entered it in a local art show. I won an honorable mention. All the award winners hung at the Baltimore Art Museum. Then the next oil painting I did was 40 some years later.

ACG: When did you start to paint and why or how did you make the decision to do this?
KG: I think I've been painting "in my head" for all these years. I got some books and did some water colors off and on. I always thought about painting in oil got serious about it when we moved to Bastrop.

ACG: Who was your first mentor or person of inspiration?
KG: My mother, grandmother and our neighbor growing up in MD were all inspirational.. I met my mentor, Ruth Ortiz, a year or so after we moved to Bastrop. It was quite serendipitous and was life changing for me. She was just 3 blocks from me. She is now 92 and I still see her often.

ACG: Who is your favorite artist?
KG: My favorite living artist is David Leffel. I had the great fortune to meet him at the 2014 International Salon in San Antonio where I had a painting juried into the show. He critiqued my painting and was so generous with his knowledge. It meant so much to me. The old masters, of course. Emil Carlsen painted beautiful still lifes. They make my heart skip a beat.

ACG: Where have you studied or learned to do what you do?
KG: In addition to what I already said about that, I took a few art courses at a local community college that weren't what I was looking for. I learned all the basics from Ruth. Then I have constantly studied painters in books and on line. I've taken several online courses: Jeff Watts, Kelli Folsom & Elizabeth Robbins. The learning is never ending!​

ACG: Where do you get your inspiration for each painting? How do you decide what to paint? Tell us a little bit about how you approach a painting. The process that you use to work through one.
KG: I can be inspired by anything organic. Fruit, vegetables, flowers, sticks and weeds. I love going out and cutting beautiful flowers and interesting branches and then putting that together with antique, vintage pots, vases, bottles, etc. The colors, the way the light falls across all of it. I love the interaction of light and shadow. It moves me.

ACG: You recently spent several months in Belgium. Did you find things that gave you inspiration for your art while there?
KG: Belgium is beautiful. The landscapes, architecture, flowers, antiques are wonderful! Much older than here. I saw a show of Early Dutch Masters at the Belgium Royal Museum of Fine Art in Brussels: unbelievable paintings from Rembrandt to Rubens. To be inches from these masterful works of art was an honor. I am so grateful!!