De Silva shines inner light through her expressionist works

by Keith Barber

Kelly de Silva pointed out one of her recent expressionist paintings — a work entitled “Compass” — hanging in her workspace housed inside Artmongerz Gallery as a perfect example of how she utilizes personal life experiences as inspiration for her artwork.

“Compass” is one of a recent series of paintings de Silva completed last month in a flurry of artistic energy.

“It’s like you’re looking into something or it’s taking you somewhere inside and at the same time kind of boundless out — something like infinite,” de Silva said. “‘Compass’ is a painting of a compass to your supreme Self, like finding your inner light that’s inside of you and realizing it.”

“That’s what ‘Compass’ is all about — having a compass to find your strength and yourself and your inner light and shining it on people that are around you that love you and support you,” she added.

“Compass” offers great insight into how de Silva layers her work with texture and meaning. Under artificial light, it appears very dark and foreboding, but if you take it out in the sunlight, you see a lot of greens and blues in the background, which signifies life and hope.

De Silva admits she struggles to describe her artwork. However, Greensboro artist Charlotte Ström may have summed it up best in a post on Kelly’s Facebook page.

“Kelly’s work has an organic quality that speaks to an unspoken truth that the human gut can relate to on an instantaneously deeper level,” Ström writes.

Visitors to Kelly’s Facebook page and Artmongerz Gallery have marveled at de Silva’s recent work and that positive interaction with the audience in person and online has added fuel to her artistic fire.

De Silva’s work will be showcased at the First Friday celebration at Artmongerz on Jan. 6. In appreciation of her audience, de Silva will perform an art demonstration during First Friday, creating a brand new work as visitors look on.

“For me, I’m interested to see how people’s energy will affect the painting because my work is total free expression,” de Silva said. “It’s things I’m going through and influences that are coming into me, people, things, influenced by nature and the beauty around me. It comes out, it appears, it happens, and it’s beyond my control.”

De Silva’s recent life experiences have led her to create some of her best artwork.

After being laid off from her customer-service job last month, Kelly said she experienced a moment of absolute clarity.

“I lost the job and it took about 40 minutes before I realized, ‘Oh God, this is a blessing! Now I can paint!’” she said.

De Silva has been rewarded for her leap of faith as sales of her work have soared in recent weeks. De Silva said she recently shipped a painting to a customer in New York City, who saw the work on her Facebook page and made an offer.

“This month has been phenomenal for me,” de Silva said.

Suddenly, works that have been hanging in de Silva’s studio for years are now being acquired by art lovers. Still, watching her paintings go out the door is a bittersweet experience for de Silva.

“To me, it’s like watching one of my children going,” she said.

De Silva takes comfort in knowing that her art, like the work of all artists, belongs to the world.

“Artists make art because the world needs their art; true artists that have to create,” she said. “It

wanna go?

Artmongerz Gallery 610 S. Elm St., Greensboro Celebrate First Friday with an art

courtesy Joel & Ashley Selby

Artist Kelly de Silva’s work will be showcased at the First Friday celebration at Artmongerz Gallery on Jan. 6. De Silva will create an original work during the event. (photo by Keith T. Barber)

demonstration by Kelly de Silva and an exhibition of her work. For further info, call 336.389.0398.