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 Kelly Paige Standard  (1973 - )

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: loosely realistic figurative

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K. P. Standard is primarily known as Kelly Paige Standard

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Ad Code: 4
Kelly Paige Standard
After the bath, 36 x 36
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography, submitted June 2007, is from the artist.

Kelly Paige Standard is (with a slight twist) a traditional oil painter with a tender view of loneliness, and a penchant for laying open the spectrum of human emotion with "fiery intensity".  Employing a fierce use of color, she paints accessible figures intended to seem haunting and fueled and captured by the wily dichotomy of sadness and joy.  She explores the agony of being alone with those poetically, innermost torments.  ‘Loneliness is something that doesn’t discriminate.  I believe that people experience varying degrees of it for a wide range of reasons, but ironically, it’s something that links us all together’.  Using a palette with considerable contrast of dramatic light and deep shadow, she strives to glorify that very human condition.

Kelly Standard was born in San Diego on December 1st, 1973, to art-loving parents, Nancy and Jim Standard.  Always nurturing the creative force in their children, Nancy and Jim offered them art supplies rather than television privileges, but even first contributed genetically to the cause.  Nancy’s side of the family is made up of painters, writers, and weavers.  On Jim’s side is Kelly’s aunt—Lela Harty—an oil painter and painting teacher who was, coincidentally, the biggest contributor to Standard’s love of oil painting.  In fact, it was a color theory class she took from Harty before heading off to the University of California, Irvine that armed her with technique, while her classes provided the challenge of artful communication.

As a young, representational painter, Kelly couldn’t find one faculty member at UC Irvine with a love like hers, and wondered if the problem was her own focus.  So after a serious injury ended any hope of a third year of division I soccer (and after dropping the English half of an afore-planned English/Art double major), she experienced UC Irvine as a full-time art major for one year.  Still she sought more favorable surroundings, and ended up at UC Santa Barbara, where she earned her BA with honors and a focus in painting. 

In 1995, directly after graduating, she took a job at Robson Gallery, downtown in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter—working for none other than Lela Harty.  There she gained a less-analytical, more applicable kind of knowledge about the art world.  The invaluable experience of selling artwork, writing biographies, creating advertisements, keeping books, and hanging shows fueled her confidence to one day approach the art world with her own paintings.   ‘In addition to the sheer value of ‘knowing the ropes’, I feel like I’ve grown as an artist—simply by spending my time around such amazing paintings’, she says of works by Robson Gallery’s artists such as John Asaro, Walt Gonske, and William Sharer.  

After a couple years, Standard went on to use her artistic ability in the video game industry, finessing 3D software programs, and painting hi-resolution textures for some forward-thinking projects.  Standard’s contribution (the Age of Edanna) helped make Myst III: Exile a game that’s still on the Top 50 Games of All Time list.   The money attainable in the industry afforded her the luxury of some world travel.  Australia, France, England, and Jamaica each provided wonderfully fresh subject matter for her painting, and the experiences of being in each of those places, along with her life-long love of music and the written word, all helped sculpt this artist find life very interesting and determined to communicate her enthusiasms through painting. 

In February of 2002, during her stint in the 80-hours-a-week video-game industry, her younger brother, Mark Alan Standard, fell to his death in a horrible accident.  He was a nearly-graduated art major from Long Beach State, California. 

After his death, everything changed for her.

‘Every day was a gruesome hollowness of exposed nerves.  Like some holiday prop, I’d been ripped open and violently scraped clean…and the world just kept on turning’.  After a while, gray began to appear white again, and Kelly had an intense desire to jump into life as a full-time oil painter.  She and her brother had always dreamed of painting together.  So after losing him, the dream they shared seemed like the truest thing to live for.

Gone was the desire to work ridiculous hours for something as trivial as a video game, especially when she’d been blessed with the gift (and the love) of fine art.   ‘I feel like Mark and I should be painting in a studio somewhere together.  I really am living this reality for both of us now’.  Not surprisingly, Mark was a painter.  And he was a boxer, a kind of warrior poet, and most of all—an intense friend.  ‘I decided to clench my teeth and stubbornly face the sheer agony of losing him…and to twist that pain into something beautiful.  –Or at least to try.  Painting allowed me then, and still allows me now, to contend with life-elements as massive as grief and love—to be the David to their sheer Goliath-ness.’  

Kelly Paige Standard paints because she needs to, because she loves it, and because she wants to encourage people, through the experience of artwork, to open up to the power of expression and communication.  Often labeled ‘too sensitive’, Kelly has come to realize that painting is exactly her place to be that sensitive, to go ahead and feel life hugely, and to keep striving to express the inexpressible.   As she lives and grows in her career, she continues to reach and unite a surprisingly wide range of people that love her work, almost like her paintings now hold the gift of friendship that made her brother such a gem.

For the last five years, Standard has been feverishly painting and making a living in San Diego selling her work directly through client-word-of-mouth, and small gallery shows.   She has painted numerous portraits, has been entrusted with several memorials, and has sold over 200 paintings in that time. 

Vision Magazine
, February 2004 (image and mention)
Dining Out, spring/summer 2004 (images)
San Diego Magazine, September 2005 (write up)
Artwalk Website 2006, painting image chosen for artist pages (image)
Artwalk Magazine 2006, featured artist (image and write up)
San Diego Magazine, April 2006 (image and mention)
La Guia, April 2006 (Mexican Newspaper on Artwalk 06--image and mention)
City Beat, April 2006 (image and write up)
Sign on San Diego, April 2006 (front page feature--image)
Decor & Style, March 2007 (4-page artist profile article with images)


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