Kelly Maloney Fine Art


The Role of Light in Skyscape Oil Paintings

Have you ever noticed how a room changes when a beam of sunlight breaks through the clouds and floods it with warmth? That's the kind of feeling I try to capture in my skyscape oil paintings. I work in my studio in Rochester, NY, where the skies often give me a muted palette to rebel against. In response, I use a mix of Impressionism and Expressionism to splash my canvases with vibrant, exaggerated colors, aiming to bring that elusive sunlight into our lives.

Capturing a feeling

When I paint, I'm not just trying to create a picture of the sky. I want to capture the feeling you get when you look up and see a breathtaking sunset or the drama of a storm brewing. It's about the memory and emotion tied to those moments, not just the image. A vivid example of this is when my friends and I were visiting Durban, South Africa. Walking along Umhlanga Beach, we saw a storm brewing. We quickly moved to the patio of an ocean view hotel and had high tea as the storm rolled in. The sky turned a surreal hue of yellow – eerie and captivating. That scene inspired my painting 'Storm over Durban,' where I tried to encapsulate not just the colors but the charged atmosphere of that moment.

Storm over Durban - Oil on Canvas - Kelly Maloney 2022

Light is Color

This is where the colors come in, bright and bold, turning a simple skyscape into a slice of abstract art that can light up a room. Light can lift our spirits and brighten our days, both literally and figuratively. In those times when life feels a bit heavy, the right kind of light can be a real pick-me-up. This sentiment is echoed by British landscape artist J.M.W. Turner, who famously said, "Light is therefore colour." Turner, known for his expressive colorizations and imaginative landscapes, understood the power of light in transforming a scene, a lesson that deeply influences my work.

In each painting, I try to offer a glimpse of hope, a reminder that after every storm, the sun will shine again. This isn't just me being an optimist; it's backed by the idea that light and colors can genuinely influence our mood and mental health. Bringing one of my paintings into your home means inviting a bit of that hopeful light into your life.

My process is spontaneous, fluid, and vibrant. I lay down colors in a way that feels right at the moment, letting each painting unfold on its own. This approach isn't just about creating art; it's about sharing a bit of freedom and joy. It's about showing that even in places like Rochester, where the skies can be a bit grey, there's always a way to find or create your own light.

So, when you look at one of my skyscapes, I hope you see more than just a painting. I hope you feel a bit of the warmth and light that went into creating it. After all, each brushstroke isn't just paint; it's a little piece of sunshine, meant to brighten your world, one vivid, expressive skyscape at a time.

Head over to my website to check out my latest collection of skyscape oil paintings!