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.