Painting by Numbers - Kelly Shan

Born on the Caribbean Island of Nassau, Bahamas, Kelly grew up making charcoal and pencil portraits. She admits she had to overcome her fear of colour, impressed by the abundance of colour in everything around her. Her first tools were popsicle sticks and matches used to apply paint and she used the white cardboard from sticker packs as paper. Later, when she got her first paintbrush, she discovered the joy of painting with watercolours.

Kelly's work is magical, poetic and realistic. Her watercolours, unique in their translucent layering of colour, are intricate and detailed creations that evoke the wonders, myths, rituals and daily struggles of her native Caribbean Island. The ppresence of strong Caribbean women predominates in her work. For her, they represent the power of matriarchy in cultures like hers and she attempts to portray strength as well as beauty. The artist maintains a vibrant introspection and a deep sense of spirituality in her work.