For the 40-year-old Colorado sculptor, complacency is the enemy, whether he's practicing team roping, caring for his horses and longhorn cattle or working clay. “There’s nothing more common than a talented man finding himself unsuccessful in life," Kelsey says.  


For him, living is about tackling each day as it comes and trying to get the most out of it.  That intensity shows up in his Western-themed sculptures, whether he's portraying a bronc twisting and turning out of the chute, or cowboys wrestling a calf for branding.  Kelsey's mantra is this: "You have to notice what's supposed to be noticed."


Cowboying and art appear to intertwine completely for this talented man.  He's ridden the broncs, faced the challenge, and walked away with a hard-won confidence.  "I've applied the bronc rider mentality to the artwork, and it's served me well," Kelsey says.  Back when he first entered art shows and began to make his living with his art, others were astounded at the way Kelsey risked all to get into sculpting full time.


"You just have to take the leap and jump," he says.  "I had a wife, a new baby, and a new property, and here I was taking a chance.  But it's like that when you're on the back of a bronc.  You get that self-belief.  It's amazing what you can do when you don't hold yourself back."


Certain building blocks came early for Kelsey, as he was growing up in Oklahoma.  His mother was an art teacher, who encouraged her son's artistic efforts. "I had art around me my whole life," Kelsey says.  "In a way, you can equate it to a contractor's kid. What's better than giving a kid a hammer and nails?  We didn't have television or all those kinds of distractions.  What was a better babysitter than art materials?  But i never considered making a career of art when I was a kid."...