About Kristy McNelly

Born on a farm in Fremont, Michigan, Kristy McNelly’s early days were spent riding horses and playing in the woods along the creek. Art has been a long pastime since childhood. It is that love for nature and animals that is still carried into her work today as an oil painting artist.

Kristy graduated from Michigan State University and moved to Bergheim, Texas where she now resides. From 1992 – 1995 Kristy worked as a designer for the Gousha Mapping Company. In 1996, she started her own graphic design firm and in 1999, Kristy invented a urethane horseshoe called Ground Control Horseshoes, in which she and her husband, Chuck McNelly sell worldwide. All through the years, Kristy has continued to paint, showing her art locally and taking art workshops to further her skills.

An active volunteer and President of the AgriCultural Museum and Arts Center in Boerne, Texas, Kristy enjoys putting on events and antique tractor pulls and driving her antique 1950 Ford Truck called “Seabiscuit”.  Every year Kristy and Chuck enjoy taking road trips back to Michigan to visit family and also to tour their favorite vacation spot, Mackinac Island, where Kristy’s parent’s, Jack and Lois Sanderson, spent their honeymoon in 1953.

Artist Statement – Kristy McNelly


Painting with oils on canvas, I use painterly brush strokes full of vibrant color that my eyes see outside of the local color of the object. My favorite brush is a small short-handled angle shader. I start by covering a blank white canvas with red ochre acrylic. Once this layer dries, I begin the oil paint. I mix all other colors I need from the following palette: cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, phthalo turquoise, lemon yellow, alizarin crimson, raw sienna, burnt sienna, titanium white, purple and Gamblin solvent free gel medium. I have a paper towel handy in my left hand and wipe the color between each brush stroke, while dipping the brush into the turpentine so as not to create “mud”on the canvas. I want every color to be placed specifically and clear. Some blending occurs in the areas of the painting where I want to focus on with a more detailed approach. My yellows, oranges and reds go in front of the light and my blues, greens and purples go behind the light. My subjects come from my personal photos from trips and experiences. They are scenes of horses, Mackinac Island, Michigan, historic route 66 gas stations, antique trucks, and landscapes.