Robert studied fine art at Glasgow School of Art, where his tutors included David Donaldson, Alexander Goudie and James Robertson. He then pursued a career in teaching art until 1995, when he decided to concentrate full time on painting.
True to the captivating qualities and philosophy of the Scottish Colourists, whose work he greatly admires, Robert Kelsey paints with vigour and feeling to interpret a sense of place through the power of light and colour. “Light is generally the most important quality,” he says. “For me, the main interest and challenge of painting lies in capturing the particular translucency and clarity of light in different parts of the world.” Robert has established an enviable following and reputation for his sensitive and atmospheric oil paintings, and especially for his beach subjects.
“I’ve painted beaches and seascapes for more than 30 years,” he explains. “But gradually they have become more welcoming, warm and sunny beaches, and so I often paint in tropical and Mediterranean locations as well as in the UK. “It’s that sort of atmosphere that I am after, preferably with crystal clear turquoise water and stretches of soft sand. I like quiet, remote places, such as in the Hebrides and along the west coast of Scotland.
The majority of Robert’s paintings are made in the studio and are developed from reference material collected on location.