Local artist, Joy Kelley-Giles has been painting for 3 years. It wasn’t until she was going through some major life changes when she was prompted to seek an outlet and took to the canvas. She was able to find that outlet in painting. “One night I pulled out my daughters’ craft box and a canvas that had been sitting in the back of my closet for years, and I started to paint. Once I started, I didn’t want to stop,” recalled Joy. “I painted for hours, and it was the most self-gratifying feeling I had experienced in a very long time!”
Joy quickly found the inspiration to continue painting. “I had never intended to show my painting to anyone, but once I finished I was overjoyed with excitement from the achievement. I had to share it with my very best friend. He gave the most positive and encouraging reaction, which was a pivotal moment for me. Chris Giles, who I now proudly call my husband, has truly been my inspiration! From my very first piece of art, Chris has inspired me to grow and explore my ability as an artist. He encouraged me to enter my first piece into the employee National Arts Program Exhibit, which I did and won first place. Everyone needs a bit of encouragement from time to time, a reminder that we all have the ability to explore and achieve. Chris has been that person for me.”
Not only has Joy shared her passion with her best friend and husband, she has shared it with her entire family. Joy enjoys sitting down and painting with her children. They are able to get that same encouragement from her, that she was given from her husband. “Each of my children has a completely different perspective of what is pleasing to the eye, and which stage in the creative process is most fulfilling,” notes Joy. “My oldest is most satisfied with distinct lines, creating a sense of structure and purpose. My middle child tends to lean towards creating a mood as opposed to a defined subject, and my youngest seems to get the most gratification out of watching one color quickly change into another. They all seem to have an understanding that art and creativity doesn’t have to look any certain way at all.”
Though Joy has no formal training, she learns with each creation. “I learn as I go,” notes Joy, “exploring with different mediums and techniques.” Her husband Chris reminds her that she is no less talented because of this. “He is always encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, and he reminds me to not short-change my talent simply because I’m self-taught. I love that!” She has also found inspiration from other artists. “I have recently discovered a female painter with a diverse portfolio who has greatly inspired me. Michel Keck is a self-taught, greatly accomplished artist who chose to circumvent the traditional gallery route and is now considered one of the most successful self-representing artists online. Erin Ashley is another abstract artist who I am greatly inspired by. Ashley has amazing talent; I find myself captivated by her work.”
Joy can appreciate all forms and genres of art, though she is most drawn to abstract works. “Whether it is the organic flow or abrupt intersection of contrast, I am charmed by its ambiguous nature,” said Joy. “My eye has always been drawn to aged and weathered objects; layers of paint on rusted metal, objects that have been utilized to the fullest extent possible, shown by their distressed appearance. Simply stated, it’s the imperfections found in everyday life that inspire me most.”
“My goal is to create something that will evoke thought and emotion from the person viewing it. Not every piece I create has a specific story behind it. I often tend to just get lost in the process of it, the pure enjoyment of blending colors, fading from one contrast to another, and using various mediums such as modeling paste, fibers, and papers to add texture and depth.” Joy likes to ask provoking questions of her patrons. “To acquire insight into someone else’s perspective is always gratifying to me! I have so much to learn and I desire to explore as much as possible in the time that I have. So far I have only worked with acrylic paint and various textures on canvas. There are so many different mediums to play with and learn about. I hope in the next few years to become more diverse in my work, and to embrace the uncomfortable, yet necessary act of self promotion in order to get my work out there and seen by as many people as possible,” says Joy.
Not only is Joy a talented and humble artist, she is a beautiful person on the inside and out. She lives with so much gratitude for the wonderful blessings that surround her. “I feel blessed beyond measure to wake up every day surrounded by people that I love! One of the most valuable lessons I have learned thus far is that in the most difficult of times, we often find the biggest opportunity for growth. God has made that clear to me time and time again. I have also learned that we shouldn’t limit ourselves, abate our goals and desires, and diminish the value of our talents simply because others choose to. Every day we wake up with a choice to make; we can live this day to the fullest, spread some love and appreciation to those around us and be thankful for God’s love, grace and mercy, or we can choose not to and miss out on the real beauty of life.”
If you want to see more of Joy’s paintings, learn more about her background, and stay up-to-date on her latest events, please click here to visit her facebook page. You can contact her there to purchase her paintings or to commission her for a personalized piece.