Kelly Bermudez’s watercolor artwork is captivating. How is it possible that a painting can bring out so many emotions? Looking at her seahorse, baby sea turtle, perching birds and owl, you can feel intimacy, tenderness, joy and even loneliness, like experiencing first love all over again. Her innocent, dreamy and serene creatures gently whisper love songs in your ear.
Only a seriously gifted artist can capture such feelings in a few strokes. You would think that Kelly, the artist who lives in Florida with her husband and four children, must have been devoted to art all her life. But her journey is surprising. “I did 6 years in the Navy, and then in the Secret Service. After that I became a deputy sheriff. So my background is really military, police and law enforcement. I ended up getting really sick and had to quit my job. In my praying to God to help me, I would always see mental pictures of me painting. And that’s really how I started. I had never painted before that; I never even knew I could. I didn’t even know what types of paint and paintbrushes there were. I started painting to take my mind off being sick. It really helped me through a really dark time. The more I painted, the better I felt.” And that was just three years ago.
This prompts a question—perhaps artistic talent runs in Kelly’s family? “My father used to paint cars. He was a custom car painter. Then he went off to photography. But I didn’t have a close relationship with him, so it was never passed down to me as an interest. My oldest daughter started to get into drawing, and I’ve been trying to encourage her to paint. She just recently entered an art competition and took first place. She is really talented.”
Though Kelly’s focus now is on watercolor, she is interested in venturing into water marbling. It is one of the most beautiful forms of Turkish art, formed by drawing designs with dye on top of water, and then carefully placing paper on the surface of the water to absorb the dye. “It involves some chemical, so I am waiting till I have a place to do it where my kids can’t get to. Maybe I’ll try that in a year or so.”
Kelly believes that teamwork is one of the key factors for her success on Etsy. And now she is spreading the love to others as well. “Getting on really good teams is important so we can learn from each other. I even started my own team and hope to help other people. A new person started out selling not much, but her sale has tripled. Working with other people could get you on the front page of the site.”
Kelly is currently involved in other projects, one of which is illustrating for a new magazine called Deeply Rooted. It is a publication designed to encourage and inspire Christ-following wives and moms.
She has another lofty goal. “I am in the process of illustrating the book of Song of Solomon, which I think will take me a while. It is all based on a divine romance, and love shines through.” Kelly already has completed several illustrations on romance in the rain and fields of love, verses from the Song of Solomon. I know that it is going to be amazing.
Go check out Kelly’s amazing artwork in her online store.