Kelly Marshall

Kelly Marshall is a San Diego-based abstract painter with a background in painting, printmaking, and art of the book. Her work is a reflection on her shared experience as an artist and educator. Kelly works in acrylic paint, found pages, collected bits, and materials sourced from student projects.

Photoinhibition Acrylic, charcoal on Arches paper 36 x 48 in.

Kelly Marshall’s upbringing in Southern California has shaped her work and perspectives.  She spent her childhood in her suburban San Diego neighborhood creating games and making countless messes.  In Art School, at San Diego State University, Kelly took her love of the art of mess-making to the next level and refined her eye with printmaking and artist books.  During this time, Kelly was awarded a grant to study the art and cultural heritage of Japan with fellow members of the art department at SDSU.  After a near 20 year career as a teacher and owner of Color, Construct, Create Studios, her full-inclusion children’s art school, Kelly has returned to her passion for process and intentional mess as an abstract painter.  Her social practice of teaching art to children and adolescents with disabilities has informed her visual language. Kelly has won awards, participated in several group shows, and currently displays her art in regional galleries. 


"The artwork I produce is a reflection on my shared experience as an artist and educator. Teaching deepens my understanding of the human condition and painting is my avenue of expression. After almost 20 years of working with children with special needs, I have honed my urgent commitment to thinking about and making art with people who move and think differently. My artwork juxtaposes these conflicts through beauty and delicacy of light as well as the harmony of colors. Each painting begins with bold colors and is layered, scraped, built, and deconstructed through neutrals and additive negative space. Hidden colors and implied shapes contemplate the relationships in nature, structures in organic matter, and subtle nods to the return of the 19th century in our current societal dysfunction. I work in acrylic paint, found pages, collected bits, and materials sourced from student projects. Each painting is deliberate, organic, intuitive, and a reflection of my social practice."

Corraline - Acrylic on canvas 30 x 40 in.
The Populated Sun - Acrylic on canvas 36 x 48 in.
Lady's Slipper - Acrylic, collage on canvas 24 x 30 in.
Peacock Begonia - Acrylic on canvas 36 x 48 in.

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


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