I paint the grey area.

Those things that mess with your mind when you are sleepy. The moments when you cannot quite trust your senses to give you what is agreed upon as the “correct” and “right” information. I want to capture that feeling of something out of the corner of one’s eye, where you think you see something, and your brain fills in the gaps. It’s that moment before you turn your head and see the wonderfully ordinary defined. It’s the space where the wonderfully extraordinary can happen. I am painting that imagined moment, the mind’s projection. It’s the space where the subconscious and conscious meet. The grey area, the gloaming, where your eyes play tricks.

I feel as a human, I have the wonderful luck that I get to build a fantasy world I can share with others. I am obsessed with learning, experimenting, and exploring in my work. Humor is also important to me, both to convey a lesson, and to share of the heart.  By that road, there is always a bit of whimsy in my work, somewhere.

I generally get a vision of the image before I start. I see it completed, then I get to sketching and playing with the paint until it looks close to what I envisioned.

I really love the mix of industrial static and of fluid organic movement. This doesn’t play out in all my work, but with some. I also love the fantastical. The key for me is to be playful with the mediums. Generally I paint on paper, canvas, panel, sometimes even metal. Whatever fits with the vision.

Currently, I am playing with different themes of boundaries and spaces. Both physical and psychological. How they are held, what they feel like.

The overarching theme or concept that applies to most of my art is surrealistic interpretations of the super ordinary,  humour,  and the imminent and ever present change of form and space.



                             container                                               breaking of form

          whimsy                  decay      dark/light interplay      expectation/ projection

                                               static/movement             structure       


~Kelly Shpeley


My favoured influences as a painter have been Hieronymus Bosch for his explorative images, H.R. Giger for his unapologetic darkness, Dr. Seuss for his purity, Remedios Varo Uranga for her unique visions, Frida Kahlo for her honesty,  Tamara Lempicka for her bold confident light, Jan van Eick for his flawless eye. All of these people have been solid inspirations for me.