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Sean Kelly: Butcher & Painter

Sean Kelley has an impressive body of work that continues to be inspired from his day job, as a full time butcher.  His work (as a butcher) seems to bring him great pleasure and it shows in his paintings.  You may consider the relationship between the two worlds as symbiotic.  In a great interview in an article from Dec 2013 in the New London Day, in Connecticut, he explained: "He sees the two skills as informing each other: His experience at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has made him a better butcher, he said, while the slaughterhouse provides inspiration for his art." (Click here to read the article)

Interestingly, he finds beauty (in my opinion) in the least expected places, like a slaughter room.

His palette of softer pastel colors work well to depict the coolness of the environment and his use of red seems even more effective contrasting the cool air with the flesh and blood of the the subjects.

Surface textures in his paint application further push a tension of the meats decorative beauty in freshly butchered flesh.

Holstein Bulls oil on masonite 19 x 19 1/2 inches
 Taking the idea of being a "meat artist" further than anyone, Sean seems involved in every aspect of the cycle of farm and food that many are probably glad to no know.  The strength seems in his focus of beauty even in death.  It's understandable that not everyone might identify as a willing member of the audience for some of the work, but there's no doubt that beauty in death is captivating and his work makes adds to it a calm.
Still Life with Lamb Heads oil on canvas mounted on panel 16 x 24 inches

More about sean and his work can be found at : https://www.seankelleypaintings.com

*clicking on any images here will enlarge them for you.


Steaks, served in pastels

William Pettit is a painter and poet who also works as a sculptor, musician, photographer and video artist.  Yeah, that's renaissance man in my book. 

Bill sent me these photos of new pastel drawings of steaks recently.  His note: "Someone gave me a bunch of pastels and paper, a material I had used before as a student but never gave much consideration. They are fun to make. "

These still life drawings have a muscular representation of flesh, I admitted to him that they reminded me of the Bodyworlds exhibit I had seen.  The palette of pinks and browns and apparent ocher yellows on tan paper really offer a feel of dry-aged meat rather than lively flesh.  Cooked and ready to eat...

Bill's response: "they are all cooked and about to be consumed...many are drawn while still in the process of digestion. "

 for more Bill, check out his site: http://www.williampettit.com

I love the dramatic light on this one. How a cooked steak curls and and waves.