Those who are drawn to artist Kelly Milukas’ paintings might describe their attraction more like a craving. A craving for color…for velocity, vibrancy, and voluptuousness. Her pastel-layered watercolor paintings offer just this, a very tempting and vivid description of country life most can only find in their dreams– or on a Kelly Milukas canvas if they happen to stop by her Tiverton, Rhode Island studio.
Inspired by the multi-dimentionality of life, she describes the work of being an artist as “soul-touching…it’s hard to get away from the vibrancy.” Her popular paintings are composed of under-layers of watercolor blanketed by rich pastels creating candy coated, highly coveted masterpieces.
After studying sculpture in Portland, Maine, Kelly met her now husband and settled into their Tiverton home. It wasn’t long before the old shed was converted into a contemporary art studio and sanctuary for her growing passion for painting. Now Kelly is a celebrity around town, best known for her charismatic cow paintings and kaleidoscopic collection of scenery from her various travels. “My imagery is a visually charged interpretation of the experience,” says Kelly. And their presence is electric.
While making art started has always been a passion, it recently unfolded into an unexpected adventure for Kelly. When a friend confronted her with the challenge of capturing regenerative medicine through photographs, Kelly’s natural curiosity was hooked. She took a break from painting to explore this uncharted artistic territory and –as it turns out– the highly symbolic world of stem cells. “Her works incorporate the broad symbolism and subject of key, locks, and mysteries to visually communicate the body’s ability to heal itself,” according to a statement by the Regenerative Medicine Foundation. Moving from cows and brushes to keys and locks proved satisfying and invigorating for Kelly; the inspiring results of her photographic journey are on display at the Bow House Studio.
Along with this recent partnership, Kelly is also the proud president of the South Coast Artists, a cooperative non-profit organization comprised of roughly 100 members dedicated to celebrating the rich arts community of the south coast. For two weekends every summer, the members of the SCA open their doors to visitors from all over New England as part of the South Coast Artist Tour, showcasing a rich display of talented work. This year the tour will take place July 21st and 22nd as well as August 18th and 19th. Each year the organization expands to include more artists and visitors from the area; according to Kelly, part of the SCA’s vision is bringing the arts to children of all ages, for free, with hands on demonstrations and interactive family tours. Kelly herself welcomes a whopping 400+ visitors to the Bow House Studio each weekend, a testament to her fascinating and energetic accomplishments and enthusiastic following.
As the 2012 South Coast Artists Tour approaches, Kelly is now busy preparing for the rush, shifting mediums once again. “Getting back to painting has changed my vision,” says Kelly. “Dealing with layers and textures and pushing contrast…” These elements of photography, she says, have transformed her paintings and understanding of the artistic process.
The beautiful Tiverton studio is a must-stop if you plan to do the SCA Tour this year; you can expect custom framing by Kelly at the studio, and a healthy glimpse of the life of a very multi-dimensional artist. Despite the hustle and bustle of meetings and gallery events Kelly always has time to paint; perhaps it’s her energetic personality, or love for colors, or maybe a craving she just can’t ignore. Either way her work is in a fantastical world all its own.
For more information on the work of Kelly Milukas visit www.kellymilukas.com