Harold Osman Kelly
(1884-1955) Blanket, Texas

HO Kelly was a fascinating character more interested in his ability as a horseman instead of his art. He rode his mare Babe into Blanket, Texas almost every day. He likes bouncy polkas, people and talk.         

Below  is what Kelly stated in his own words:

           "Like lots of folks, I was often short around Christmas so I made a practice of painting watercolors for little gifts. I have been working with oils a little over a year and wish I would have started sooner. I like to paint Texas pictures for Texas people. However, every now and then I like to paint a Pennsylvania Dutch picture with it air of permanent prosperity and simple good living. A few glasses of good keg beer on Saturday night, a few nice waltzes, church on Sunday morning and watch the quarter horses dust out in the afternoon.

     At 16 I left high school and went to work on a Pennsylvania farm. The life really began for me among the Scotch Irish and Mennonite farmers. Hard work, good eats, pleasant sights and smells from the big slate roofed bank barns, break horses, smoke houses, red and white barns, fat cattle, sheep, hogs and horses, and above all "Fast Rode Horses".

     HO Kelly in his Studio
     Of the 30 states I have been in (and worked most of them), I love Texas best, and it has been my home for years. We settled down, my wife and I, in the northwest corner by the XIT Buffalo Springs ranch and prospered until the five years of drought and dust of the 30's wound us up. Anyway, one doesn't have to own land to enjoy on it, and I say from Austin or Bryan on west to Kerrville is close to Paradise to me."

     H.O. Kelly's paintings left a warm, joyful impression of the ranches and towns he loved and expressed his love with art.

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