Rick Kelley

Rick Kelley 


Rick Kelley's wildlife and African art is a visual journal of his life's travels, experiences and adventures. Every creation evokes a fond memory of the wildlife Rick admires, preserves, and respects. Rick's approach is to capture the emotion in each animal, whether it is the serenity of the loon, the majesty of the bald eagle or the stealth power of the gray wolf. These visions and strong emotions coupled with Kelley's scientifically and proportionately correct images have made him a nationally recognized and critically acclaimed wildlife artist.


Rick began his quest to be an artist out of a love for nature at the early age of ten. He continued to paint through school, and after graduation Kelley took advantage of his father's transfer to Montana. There he used Montana's beauty as a backdrop and inspiration for his work. After studying at Eastern Montana University, Rick set out on his own. Less than ten years later in 1980, he began painting professionally full time.

An avid outdoorsman and naturalist, Rick Kelley donates much of his artwork to conservation fund-raising efforts and other charitable organizations. To date, over $12 million has been raised in Kelley print sales for Ducks Unlimited, a non-profit wildlife organization. "Ducks Unlimited is an outstanding organization that is impressive in their dedication to protecting wildlife and natural habitats. It is an honor to have my art work supporting such a worthy cause," said Kelley.

On Freedom's Wing

Perhaps his most important piece ever, "On Freedom's Wing" was Rick's response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Frustrated like most Americans with the cruelty that was bestowed on his country, Rick felt he had to do something. The seemingly simple search to buy a flag to be able to proudly display it on his house became an exhaustive ordeal; all stores were sold out of American Flags. Shawn, Rick's wife, suggested that he paint his own flag. Taking her suggestion, he went to his easel and poured out "On Freedom's Wing." "Usually I have in my mind what I am going to paint before I start but with this piece everything seemed to come automatically. It was like something divine was guiding my hand as I was painting," Said Kelley.

After completing "On Freedom's Wing," Rick immediately decided to donate 10% of all proceeds to the American Red Cross Liberty Disaster Relief Fund. "I knew I would sell a few prints which would make for a small donation to the Red Cross; I'm still shocked that four months after I finished painting "On Freedom's Wing" I was able to make a donation of $40,000. I'm so glad I could help out."

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