Joel Kelly is in a long line of international aeronauts, the last. Launching this gifted
group so many years ago was his otherwise demur great-great grandmere who, in 1813, after
successfully stewarding the first dirigible from Toulouse to Leeds, is said to have spent the rest
of her 28 years, aloft, alighting only for those limitations natural to the human condition.
Mr. Kelly, a proud member of her progeny, began his occupation with art, in fact,
after a flight accident with Sardinian albatross. This, no fault of his own, had the rather
dismaying effect of plunging him into the Mediterranean, quite near where he was traveling to
seek out a family friend, the author Italo Calvino.
The writer, in his old age, was rather unimpressed with Kelly's besmirched, rueful,
and blotted countenance and turned him away. With little money and a lethal hole in both his
stomach and balloon, Mr. Kelly resorted to drawing portraits of locals on the beaches of
Cape Posillipo. This, ultimately, turned out to be a fateful event.
For here he soon discovered Cervantes' novel Don Quixote and then followed a little known poetry
collection written by the famous Spaniard on his deathbed. This book, The Widow and the Green Sea,
is the inspiration for Mr. Kelly's present paintings.