About the Artist

Odessa Kelley is a native Floridian who travels extensively in the US in search of her artistic subjects. She is an award-winning wildlife and Gyotaku Artist, skilled in a variety of mediums, which include acrylic, oil, soft pastel, colored pencil, and graphite. Odessa has been honing her skills as a nature photographer, and uses her own photographs of wildlife for reference. Her method of learning through books, online tutorials, risk taking, trial and error, and life experience allows her to experiment with many different mediums and techniques. This is how she learned to create Gyotaku (fish rubbings). Her Gyotaku paintings combine the elements that she holds most dear: painting, nature, and science.

Odessa has sought her artistic education in non-traditional places. As a child, Odessa had an art tutor who introduced her to drawing and oil painting. She spent many hours at the local public library, immersed in books filled with the dramatic paintings of the Old Masters, the expressive work of Georgia O’Keefe, and the scientific realism of Audubon. At an early age she began combining her love of the natural world with her artistic talent. She would meticulously draw the musculature of horses, analyze the mechanics of a feather, and study the texture of her pet’s fur. This attention to detail would become the hallmark of her work.

As an adult, Odessa has travelled the U.S. to experience her own country’s varied cultures, often staying in an area for up to a year, absorbing the essence of its culture. It is no surprise that she found New Orleans a place of inspiration, and it was there that she found a new artistic influence in the work of Raymond Douillet. Douillet’s work blurs the line between man and beast, bending reality and using symbolism to tell his stories on canvas. His work revealed to Odessa the importance of painting from the heart and the head. This revelation would prove as important to her as understanding that Audubon had combined art and science.

Today, Odessa is a full time artist working from her home in Florida. Her paintings tell the story of the wildlife and landscapes of the few remaining wild spaces in America. She is also planning a series of Gyotaku across the country, documenting the myths and recipes of local fish.

water brush bar

Awards and Media

Print Articles

Life on the Water Magazine, Fall Edition 2014 - Featured Artist

life on the water oyster

Beachcomber Magazine - Destin, FL  May 2008 - Cover Artist

Beachcomber 2008 cover

Thirty-A Review Magazine, July/August 2008 - Featured Artist

30A Review 2008 layout 022716

Panama City Living Magazine
May/June 2008

Walton Sun Newspaper April 26, 2008

Walton Sun article 2008 022716

Awards, Exhibitions & Representation

2014 - 2016 – Gallery Representation – Blue Heron Fine Gifts - Panama City Beach, FL

2008 - 2011 – Gallery RepresentationTurning Leaf Wood Art Gallery - Blue Ridge, GA

2008 – Solo Exhibition – L2 Gallery - Seaside, FL

2007 – First Place AwardSoutheastern Wildlife Art Show - Decatur, AL

me firstplace 2007

2007 – Streetpainting FestivalPanama City, FL

streetpaint me2

About the Artist • Contact Odessa • Site Map • The Wandering Artist

All images are copyright protected, and may not be reproduced, copied, edited, published, transmitted, or downloaded in any way without my written permission. All artwork in this gallery is the original artwork of Odessa Kelley. All Rights Reserved.