Mandy Kelso Studio Practice
Mandy Kelso began her studio practice in 2010 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where she was resident artist for many years at Theceeflat Gallery. During that time, figure drawing dominated her works as she hosted weekly figure drawing sessions in the gallery for local artists and taught sewing and fashion design classes from the studio. Traveling throughout this period also provided ample opportunity for the development of small plain air works from around the globe, as well as opportunity to develop her writing, which she performed in various poetry reading series across New York City.
After partnering up with fellow avid-gardener and creative, Robbie Kelso, she moved her studio practice and rooftop garden to Beacon, New York, in 2013 shortly after their marriage. There, the two cultivated a garden with over 10,000 flower bulbs and over 20 varieties of shrubs and trees after the loss of their first son, Wyatt in 2015. In the immediate years following Wyatt's passing, her work centered on poetry writing, culminating in a collection of poems that was published in 2018 called "Poems for Wyatt," as well as personal narrative and abstract paintings centered on motherhood, loss, and cycles of healing in nature.
Beginning in 2018 when her first daughter and second son were born, and in the recent years since, her work has begun to meld her plein air art study with abstract encaustic texture and palettes and subjects from her garden. In 2022, after an an unexpected year-long sabbatical from painting due to the pregnancy and birth of twin daughters, Mandy's work has focused on the monumental, breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley skies and lush flowering fields for which the area has been well-known. Now a mother of four small children, Mandy's time in the studio is spent studying color, temperament of the natural vistas around her, and documenting the ephemeral abundance of a life in bloom.