Wednesday, November 4, 2009

'Dream, Awaken' by Toni Kelly

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart ...
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."
- Carl Jung
I want to thank Kate for saying it was ok to post this piece here. Sometimes my canvas is my sketchbook and I love to do mixed media layers when it comes to nature painting of birds, butterflies and plants. You will often find me outside photographing butterflies and birds. I love their detail and taking photos is my way of capturing their beauty for reference later in the studio drawing in a sketchbook or going right to a finished piece. I always work from my own photographs unless a good friend lets me use one of theirs. 

The piece above is a 5 x 5 inch gallery wrap canvas. I used acrylic ink, gouache and colored pencils. The background is a mixture of collage papers and my own design transferred to the canvas. You can read more about the process here on my personal blog A Spattering. You can also view some of my butterfly photos here.  The butterfly in the painting is an American Painted Lady.

When it comes to my art the photographs are for subject reference and I'm not always interested in the background. Sometimes though the backgrounds give me color reference also.

Since I never got a chance to introduce my self I thought I would take the time to do it now. Right now I do a lot of graphic design so a lot of my time is spent designing on the computer. I'm also a calligrapher, watercolorist, and mixed media artist. I am an avid birder and member of Presque Isle Audubon Society and National Audubon. I live in Erie, PA and we have a beautiful state park here which is actually a peninsula on Lake Erie. A lot of my inspiration comes from Presque Isle State Park and that is where you will find me and my friends Michele and Brian who I blog with on Presque Isle, Naturally.  Presque Isle is a major migratory stop for several species in the Spring and Fall.
Most of my bird photographs are taken on Presque Isle while my butterflies are taken in my back yard which I have planted for butterflies especially monarchs. I grow milkweed so I'm able to watch as the female monarchs lay their eggs and then observe the eggs, caterpillars, the chrysalis and the new butterflies emerging.

You can see more of my art on my web site
Below is an example of one of my photos and the art that came from it. (side note: by following the birds and trying to capture them you really get to see their personalities. They can be comical and oh so cute.)


Thanks Kate for everything.


  1. Welcome! Very lovely work...and a very close friend of mine has a summer home at Presque Isle, right on Lake Huron, and I can never visit enough! Such a glorious place with wildflower varieties that don't grow here in Kansas (I grew up in the Detroit suburbs).

  2. Lovely butterfly Toni, and I just LOVE the little bird! Nice to see your work.

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  4. Meant to ask you something Toni - which Theme of Blogger are you using on your blog A Spattering? I especially like the double column on the right-hand side and the menus at the top of the blog.

  5. Jeanette thank you for the welcome. Lake Erie spans three states and is just gorgeous all across its shores.
    Maree thank you. The blog template is Minima which I altered in the html code section.

  6. I have long admired your work. So glad you are part of this group blog. Beautiful post. Visited the site and was so thrilled to see the step-by-step process for the butterfly piece. I am so appreciative when artists take the time to take photos through the progress of a piece. I help us learn new techniques.

  7. Simply beautiful, Toni, I'm so glad you made your introduction as well as adding this lovely piece.

  8. So happy to get to know you better, Toni! I've long admired you art.
    Living along the Great Lakes definitely has the bonus of bird migration.
    It's the one thing that kept me sane when living in western NY :) Winters are way to long...... But the birds, summer and fall are soooo wonderful :)


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