About the Artist
Born in Dublin Paul started drawing and painting at an early age. His first exhibition was in his local town of Rush in north county Dublin when he was 14 years old. That summer he was asked to paint cartoon characters on the rides at the fun fair by the owner of the fair ground. His first commission. He would later go on and work in the animation industry working on over 10 feature length films in 10 years at the same time as gaining a reputation as a ‘fine art’ painter in Ireland.
He started submitting work to the annual ‘Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin’ (RHA) annual summer exhibitions and in 1991 was awarded the ‘James Kennedy Memorial Award’ for portraiture. Nine years later was presented in Christie’s sales rooms in London the award for ‘Artist of the year’ presented by the ‘Ireland fund of Great Britain’, a prestigious honour in UK/Irish fine arts. At the same time he was enjoying commercial success with sell out exhibitions at ‘The Gorry gallery’ in Dublin. In 2000 his painting ‘The Liffey Rowers’ (Brian P. Burns collection) was exhibited in the Irish Cultural Exhibition at the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. In 2002 he made the first of several visits to Lambay island, building up a diverse portfolio of works which were exhibited in 2004 to great critical acclaim. In addition to solo exhibitions he has shown at a variety of select group shows around the country, maintaining his reputation as one of the most talented landscape and figurative artists working in Ireland in recent times. His work remains highly sought after by collector’s and he is represented in numerous public and private collections both here in Ireland and abroad.
Self taught Paul paints in a conventional pre-impressionist style in both oils and watercolours. Known for his paintings of north county Dublin with its busy fields, market gardens and small harbours he is always traveling in search of new inspiration with painting trips to Morocco, Prague, Budapest, Spain, France and Italy. ‘Paul Kelly in Brittany’ 2010 seen his undertakings from a long expedition to this region in France which included visits to Concarneau, Pont-Aven, Benodet, Quimperle and Raz. The annual pardons with their native costumes and medieval backdrops were his subjects for this exhibition. In December 2012 Paul exhibited ‘Carnival of Venice’ with its sumptuous costumes, wigs and masks against the magnificent back ground of Venice.
In recent years his work has started to appear in important art auctions both in Dublin (Adam’s, Whyte’s and DeVere’s ) and in London (Sotheby’s).