still life

Yes, I will pay back my student loans…someday. In the meantime, I paint!

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In process kewpie sitting in vintage cabinet
In process oil on canvas

Someone recently told me that “Students who take out excessive loans, enjoy their college years, and don’t work during that time earn less sympathy.” As if college is just a big carefree party for free loaders!

Everyone deserves an education! For years I didn’t go to college because I didn’t think I could afford it, always struggling in low paying jobs kept me distracted and thinking I couldn’t go to school at the same time.

For 10 years I drove past our college and saw the warm lights shining out of the tall windows of the library and just knew in my gut that I wanted to be there! Finally when my boys got a bit older I felt like I had the time and energy to tackle college. My desire to grow and learn outweighed my fear and idea that I was not worthy of education. I walked in and found out I could get a degree in only four years and that there were grants and loans available for me to do that! I registered and started classes that evening! I felt like I was “home.”

I learned things I would never have learned if I let myself stay stuck in one dead-end job after another. My self knowledge and confidence grew. I found a way to do the things I’ve always wanted to do! I met amazing people – students and professors – who are still in my life today.

When my fiancé died from suicide ten years ago and I was unable to function in a 9 to 5 (nearly paralyzed by PTSD, depression, and anxiety) it was school that kept me going. I found out I could increase the amount I was borrowing in order to pay my bills while I finished up that last year of school. And that’s what I did. Meanwhile, government grants were eliminated and tuition rates rose every year.

Then after graduation, knowing full well all along that I would be paying my loans back and fulfilling my obligation, I got the first bill. My monthly payment was over $650! Who can afford that! Even if I had landed a job utilizing one of my degrees immediately after graduation, wouldn’t be able to afford a monthly payment that high. When I applied for income based repayment it went down to like $39 a month.

I know lots of other people in this same situation. For most, college is not a four year party, a free ride, or enjoyable most of the time; it’s very hard work and a major accomplishment. However, I don’t expect sympathy from people who have never gone to college, or invested in their education, or even try to understand the people who do.

Troll at the salon. Oil on canvas.
The Sandbox. Oil on canvas

#educationextortion #studentdebt #everyonedeserveseducation #educationisnotaprivilege #shamedforwantingmore


Back At It

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Finally getting back into the studio on a more regular basis and it feels great! Now that I have a job that doesn’t suck the life out of me, completely in line with my beliefs, helping to fight the good fight, I have more mental and physical energy to paint! Yay!

Paintings usually evolve over time. This one I started quite a while ago, set it aside to finish up some commissioned paintings, and now I’m back to it. Here are some in-process shots of this Troll having the time of his life in the sandbox…

Any suggestions on what to call this one?

Decided to change the bulldozer to a sand pail

…then decided on a different sand pail.

Almost done….

Have you ever noticed a theme in your work that you didn’t see before?

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In mine? Furniture!

The Sculptor’s Shirt
Miss Kitty and the Not So Cheerful Cherub
Lucky Doll
Self-Portrait with Sock Monkey

Sketches, Studies, and Sock Monkeys

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I’ve been teaching my drawing classes, in-person and online, and my demo drawings have become a catalyst for my own work.

Here’s a study in preparation of the next Sock Money Adventure painting…

Stay tuned for further progress.

Art-o-mat, Here they come…

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So, here’s how it works, after you come up with an idea, create your prototype, and obtain approval from Art-o-mat headquarters, of course…

Produce your 50 pieces of original artwork according to the Art-o-Mat guidelines. I make tiny pen and ink drawings and this time I’ve added acrylic paint wash. I decided to do sort-of a mid century/vintage vibe with campers, pink princess phones, mushrooms, etc. (The first batch I did were tiny, full-color, detailed still life paintings of random little objects and I called it “Lily’s World.”

When I’m finished obsessing over my designs, I cut them to size and glue them to the wooden art-o-mat blocks. Then I glue my business cards to the back, so art-o-mat collectors can contact me for commissions, etc. Then I wrap each of them with the cellophane (hence the name Artists in Cellophane.)

Then I pack my art-o-mat blocks back into the box they came in and ship them back to Art-o-mat headquarters.

After a few weeks the checks start coming. And it’s awesome to get money for your work. But it’s also awesome to see where your blocks end up. Imagine your work going to Las Vegas, New York, LA, Hawaii, or as far away as Vienna! There are art-o-mat machines all across the world…

The whole process is sooo much fun! Thanks, Art-o-mat for allowing me to participate!

Check out their website for more info:

“…a landscape painted by a mole…”

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“Realism, n. The art of depicting nature as it is seen by toads. The charm suffusing in a landscape painted by a mole, or a story written by a measuring-worm.” –Ambrose Bierce The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)

I was painting small things, toys left out, or caught out exploring. From the eye level of something or someone small…

Well, Hello Sailor…
M is for Mushroom
Roll Me Over
Amanita Muscaria

Fight or Flight!

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In process

The fear and anxiety of this pandemic is activating that basic irrational human instinct of Fight or Flight. Instinctually we want to live and we want to feel safe and comfortable while we do it. For many people, when they feel intimidated they go into fight mode. See Karen refusing to wear a mask and having a tantrum in the grocery store.

For me it’s always Flight! Run! Get away and go hide someplace where I feel safe! Go to my happy place – go to Poppyland…

For the past couple of days I’ve been hiding in my studio, back to painting my friends, the sock monkeys. Now they are enjoying a huge buttery bowl of popcorn and watching a moving on their vintage Movector Super 16 projector.

#pandemic #fightorflight #inthestudio #workinprocess #wip #oiloncanvas #sockmonkeys #vintage #stilllife #popcorn

Fun Stuff

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I’m ready to paint some fun stuff now! Recently started this one of smooching sock monkeys…

Work in process

It’s time to sell another painting…

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Warranty – oil on canvas

Time. Light. Shadow. Things left behind. To tell a story…

This is Warranty. It’s oil on canvas and half price for the month of August at $300. Purchase this still life/story or commission me to create your own, with your items infused with your history.

And of course, your’s can look happier than this one.

Troll - Kelly L. Taylor
Little Troll




The Sculptor’s Shirt

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Once, for a short time, we were separated. He was lured away by a siren with a pack of lies and a pied piper with an ample supply of pot.

Soon after, he saw through the haze and found his way back to me.

And once again his books, his records, his clothes, and all his favorite things came back into my life along with him. I loved being surrounded by his things. It made me feel close to him. I still do.

The Sculptor’s Shirt – oil on canvas 30″x30″