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About Rick Kelso

Artist Description

Rick Kelso is a highly respected San Diego artist creating Colorfield paintings in a unique, contemporary encaustic-like style. Ultra-rich, pigmented dye on traditional foundations and layer upon layer of tonal variations create distinctive results.

Achieving unexpected depth and dimension, Kelso’s exquisite manipulations offer compelling intermixtures of old-world nuances and familiar patinas and textures. His current series, “New Light,” reaches to the heart of this striking technique.


My name is Rick Kelso. I create Colorfield art work in a unique, contemporary style that gives my work unusual depth and dimension. I grew up in Michigan and moved to America’s Finest City in 1981. I have lived in the San Diego area ever since.

For the past twenty years I have worked as a respected Fine Finisher, Muralist and Decorative Painter, beautifying many of the most luxurious homes in San Diego County. I’ve mastered the old-world and antique decorative finishes that make my fine finishing work so desirable. From the outset, I’ve approached projects with the mind-set of an artist, not as a craftsman, and left homes knowing the owners have Kelso embedded in their interior.

Although I’m still passionate about my fine finishing work, I’ve come to realize that my true love is creating contemporary art full time. I have spent many years striving to develop a distinctive style that evokes comfort and harmony as the inner beauty of a piece becomes apparent. I had my “eureka” moment when I discovered a combination of materials that enabled me to achieve that goal. I’ve been on a tear ever since.

My first series, entitled “New Light,” strikes to the heart of this novel style. I introduced “New Light” early this year at a private showing in Palm Springs. I sincerely hope that my work truly touches all those who view it.