Cumberland Times-News

June 15, 2013

Kelly Robertson gets serious about artwork

Painter fills her canvases with the beauty of flowers

Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — Flowers and sunsets are among the many subjects Kelly Roberston enjoys painting, but most of all, the flowers. It took a while for her to find the joy and the interest that now drive her to the easel.

“I have dabbled for years, but always found it frustrating. I couldn't imagine ever doing it and actually enjoying it. I simply couldn't do faces. Couldn't do anything to make me feel like I actually accomplished something,” Robertson said.

Then, it happened, and she’s been at it, as time allows, ever since. “About two years ago I was painting with my kids and I felt like I got lost in it. They had lost interest, and went off to play; there I was at the dining room table for hours painting. It was odd, I actually enjoyed it. I kept it simple, and painted little flowers. I love flowers,” Robertson said. That day, after her children ran off to pursue other interests, her interest blossomed.

“I was suddenly encouraged. It kept my mind still. I didn't worry, I hadn't even realized how long I was engrossed in it. I felt like it just worked. I decided that even if the world hated them, I loved them,” Robertson said. The feeling she got from painting brought her joy.

“They came from me. They made me happy and I felt very peaceful doing it,” Robertson said. So she got serious about painting.

“I bought real brushes, real paints and got to it. I have tried oils and watercolor, but I love acrylic. I have found that I like little canvases. I can't imagine being able to fill up a large space,” Robertson said. Robertson doesn’t make a profit from her painting, and she doesn’t plan to try.

“I am still painting my flowers, but have a few trees, a few sunsets and an abstract or two. But mostly flowers. I have never sold one, nor would I try,” she said “I love to paint for friends and family. I like to find a nature picture to inspire me,” Robertson said. Most of her work becomes a gift.

“Two of my cousins are expecting babies days apart, I am painting for their babies’ rooms. I look forward to giving them as gifts. I'm not sure if they are just being nice, or if I have any sort of talent at all. I don't care. I spend hours on just one! It is really a piece of me. I think about the person, the delicate flower petals and it gives me great inner peace,” Robertson said.

She has completed about 20 paintings.

She works mostly on her home’s deck.

“The light isn't too bright, or (sometimes) in my dining room. I listen to music and zone out. It has changed my life. I love it,” Robertson said.

Long before she painted regularly, Robertson enjoyed art and has visited art museums; even better, she lived in Italy.

“I took the ... art classes that I could. I was traveling with the idea of being an art teacher because I love art, however, decided that I didn't want to do that,” Robertson said.

“I've been at the National Gallery and I lived in Italy for a couple of years, so any chance I had to look at art, I took it,’ Robertson said. She lived in Vicenza, Italy, from 1993 to 1996.

“I could look at it for hours and hours. There are certain Monet paintings that give me chills. I have always been an art ‘groupie’,” she added.

As a mom, enjoying her hobby is sometimes a challenge. “I work full time and have three or four kids living at home, so there is not much time. It’s weekends mostly,” Robertson said.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at