Greg Kelsey has spent most of his life nurturing two inherent interests: art and ranching. He grew up in an art family with his mother being a high school art teacher. He also worked his grandfather’s registered longhorn herd and fostered a love for western traditions and cowboy living. Now his sculptures reflect his long involvement with ‘cowboy life’ and his love of art.
During the heavy winter of ’95 Greg once again found himself feeding cows in three feet of snow while working as a ranch hand in Southwestern Colorado waiting for the summer rodeo season. It wasn’t too hard for his mother to convince him to head back to college. His artistic calling was brought to the fore while taking the only sculpture class offered. The first day, he knew he had found his medium and knew what he was meant to do with the rest of his life. After finishing the semester with no other sculpting classes to take, he plunged right into sculpting on his own. Over the next several years he sought the advice and critique of sculpting masters while cultivating his own art career.
Being mostly self taught, sculpture has been a continual journey of growth for Greg. For him each sculpture presents a special set of problems. Finding the perfect solutions is the key to artistic growth and good sculpture. “That’s the hard and easy part of it,” he explains, “In every action there are simple, artful lines that occur naturally. An artist should find those lines and put them to use to help him create the overall shape and movement of the piece – put the art in it. The challenge is to bring the action across, in harmony with those lines, and let the piece live.”
These days Greg keeps his own small herd of longhorns and a few head of horses. Though he keeps a busy daily work schedule in the studio, he makes time to crawl on the back of a horse to re-gain a little inspiration and peace of mind. As Greg figures it one feeds the other – any time in the studio or time with his stock is time well spent. His western themes stem from his own life. “Whether it’s buckin’ horses, ropin’, pushin’ cows or whatever, that’s where I get my inspiration for art and for everyday decisions. That’s the current, right there. You get out of the current and all those ideas and abilities seem to pass you by. Get back in the saddle; and its all there again.”
Of his art, Kelsey states, “I believe you should paint or sculpt what you know and love. For me, the story of the western life is worth being told in an authentic way. When you live it, you can show a perspective that’s not always seen from afar.” He feels that being able to use his talent every day is a blessing, “There’s a real connection with the Creator when you live the dream.”