Farrell’s artwork for sale at the Tall and Small
If you find yourself rushing into 342 Main Street before morning class or if you have time to sip on a coffee while you study, be sure to take a moment to look at the walls. The ordinary warm cherry interior of the coffee shop is beautifully decorated with a smattering of colourful paintings. From beach scenes to portraits to depictions of houses around town, artist Kelly Farrell has taken over the Tall and Small with her dozens of canvases.
Born and raised in Antigonish, Farrell has, for a while now, become a well-known artist and icon in her community. She is an active member of the L’Arche community in town and is currently featured on the artists’ page of the L’Arche International website. Farrell has undoubtedly made an impression with her work in her home community – and she certainly has our attention.
A member of Hearts & Hands in Antigonish, Farrell is a workhorse in the art studio on the corner of West Street and Highland Drive. Mentors Tina Angustia and Glen Mattie at the Studio can attest to Farrell’s work ethic and ability to motivate herself when it comes to her work. Angustia commented, “Kelly is always looking for what to paint next”. Smeared across the upstairs walls where Farrell creates her work are blown-up photographs of her subjects. These photos are strewn on her workspace, hanging on the door frame by her desk and serve as her primary perspective when she begins her projects. Along with painting, Farrell also enjoys photography and drawing.
When asked about her favourite part of working at the Studio, Farrell answered, “The people.” Farrell shares space upstairs with several of her friends and fellow artists. She signed, “The people are silly… there was a Halloween party where people made funny faces in a Photo Booth and people danced. Glam (her nickname for Glen) had a lemonhead.” It goes without saying, the everyday events in Farrell’s involved life are worth documenting. And that is what she does - so brilliantly well.
Farrell’s art isn’t solely a vehicle for her talent in visual arts. It is also a means of communication. Her paintings are all snapshots of the beautiful memories she has, the people who mean the most to her, and the unforgettable places she’s been. While at the Tall and Small on October 25th for her artist’s Meet and Greet, Kelly signed about her variety of canvases on display. She picked up a couple paintings leaning on the west-most wall and signed, “When I was with my sister in Orlando, Florida, with palm trees… and kayaking.” Several of her paintings reflect her other interests and hobbies outside of making master pieces. “I like summer. I enjoy taking pictures, boats, biking, kayaking, the cottage, and spending time with my sister.” Farrell also enjoys some of the finer things like the rest of us. “I like pizza, playing pool, drinking wine and having tea (Twinning’s especially!) … [with friends and family].”
Candidly, coming into the Studio to check out Farrell’s work felt like an interruption. Immersed in her work in progress, a painting of her brother’s new car, it almost didn’t feel right to take her out of her zone. However, as soon as she was asked to explain her love for creating, the list of reasons went on. As Farrell explained why painting makes her happy, she wrote out and drew her reasons. She paints a clear picture. Farrell’s constant running dialogue, in the form of fine art, will not be stopped. It is her way of consolidating communication, fond memories and emotion for others. Her art is a universal language we can all understand and enjoy on different levels. It is clear to everyone around her that more than anything, Farrell loves what she does, and this message is conveyed in each of her canvases.