Sunday, September 23, 2018

Article / Video: Cultivating Creativity

Here is an interactive article, Cultivating Creativity from the Washington Post, discussing the nature of creativity as used by improv artists, jazz musicians, and rappers. Exposure to creative pathways, whatever the source, is always helpful.

Can the experiences of these artists apply to wall art and sculpture?

Jasper Johns, Flag, encaustic and collage on canvas
In an article in the Wall Street Journal today, Jasper Johns is quoted on Sept 23: 
Mr. Johns, who turned 88 in May, has just finished an etching and is working on a painting. He finds ideas everywhere, saying, "I doubt that there is any limitation to what can act as a trigger.”

from the Washington Post

Science has not fully mapped the neural network of creativity — that’s years, maybe decades, away. But brain studies suggest that creativity is a basic human function. It’s part of our biology, available to all of us. As improv artists show us, creativity can be cultivated by practice, which strengthens the neural pathways that lead to new possibilities.

Cultivating Creativity Credits:

Sarah L. Kaufman
Jayne Orenstein
Sarah Hashemi
May-Ying Lam
Tim Coburn (Jason Moran) and Marvin Joseph (GoldLink, UCB)
Shelly Tan and Elizabeth Hart
Alexa McMahon, Mitch Rubin, Suzette Moyer and Kaeti Hinck
Jim Webster and Jay Wang
Daniel Mich, Breanna Muir, Adriana Usero and Victoria Walker
Original composition by Jason Moran; Roy Beat by Tom Misch
Courtesy of Charles Limb, neuroscientist, surgeon and professor of otolaryngology at University of California at San Francisco
Project filmed on location at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, the Kennedy Center and Studio Theatre

Friday, September 14, 2018

New Work: Evening Song, Foothills oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Evening Song, Foothills
Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches  $10400 framed
Saks Galleries, Denver

At the end of my day in the studio, I often walk out back and see tree patterns in the large meadows near the foothills. The sun has already set and the available light changes the look of everything. I have often wanted to paint a pure arrangement, just the basic elements of that view.

On view at Saks Galleries, Denver
This is not a portrait of that place, but an arrangement of shapes set into a pattern of soft colors. Artists realized ages ago that brushstrokes can indicate direction and the Impressionists went further, breaking up the colors in a new and magical way.

There is a bit of both here to keep things interesting, but my focus was create a simple landscape composition with aquas and blues. As the painting developed, the lighting became softer and I found myself just following along, enjoying the developing scene.

All of the sky and most of the blue hill in this finished work are from the first painting sessions and it was fascinating to observe how both areas seemed to take on a glow as the rest of the oil moved forward.

This is one of the softer, lower-intensity pieces I have ever done and I like the presence and calm it gives to the room.

It's like a whisper. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

New Work: Water, Land and Sky in Flow oil on canvas, 36 60 inches

Water, Land and Sky in Flow  oil on canvas, 36  60 inches
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT    $7500 unframed

The way light plays on the surface of lakes is a constant fascination to me. With this oil the lake is a factor but equally weighted with the bright, yellow trees in the distance.

Staged installation

This is likely the 5th or so version of this arrangement. As the painting progressed through the different trials, more glowing colors emerged and the overall look of the oil continued to get brighter. 

Each trial yielded a completed painting but after a few days of viewing what I had, those brighter shapes called out for more to be done. In this final version, there is movement everywhere, carried along by the changes in colors and in the way that the mass of the trees and cloud bank are surrounded by the atmosphere in the upper sky its reflection on the lakes surface. 

As it turns out, the painting titled itself. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

New work: Forest Colors Arrayed, oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches

Forest Colors Arrayed, oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches  $4200 unframed
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

Sometimes I just get the urge to create something really colorful. This tree scene comes off a bit exotic with the wide range of colors here.

It started of as a monochromatic idea during a workshop demonstration in VA earlier this year. The end result here is completely different from that first start and subsequent rework, and another rework, and even more reworks.

Finally I began to make some bolder moves by redoing most of the composition and experimenting with a large selection of brighter colors. What a relief to eliminate what wasn't working and move into fresh territory. In this case, an otherworldly forest scene with candy colored trees. That fresh start opened the door to a number of other opportunities but this was a day for color!

Newsletter, August 2018

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August News:

The studio is filled with new works in progress and canvases about to be shipped for upcoming group shows: September 21 at the Saks Galleries Denver, November 8 at the Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT.

Casey Klan and I have announced our 4 day Mentoring / Intensive art workshop in my studio / home in Colorado this October 1-4. More info follows at the bottom of the newsletter or on the website.

I have the honor to present a lecture / Q&A at the Eisenhower Library in Broomfield, CO  Monday, Sept. 10, 2-3:30pm. I hope to see you there and I'm looking forward to your questions. It will be a casual and informative afternoon. Location: 3 Community Park Rd Broomfield CO 80020 map

One of my largest canvases, Forest Sequence I, a 4 x 10 foot forest abstract was completed this month and is presented in this newsletter. Here is more information about it on my blog.

I say one of the largest oils because immediately following that effort is the emergence of a 6 x 18 foot commission for a prominent East coast hospital. It is the opportunity of a lifetime to create a work of this scale and a thrill to work everyday to bring it to completion. Below is a preview of the work in progress.

Commission in progress, oil on continuous canvas, 4 x 18 feet

Further, I want to thank the art consultants that made it possible for purchases of my giclees for the Gaylord Rockies Hotel and Convention Center and for the Farmers Insurance main office. I have over 100 images on my website and they are available in custom sizes on paper or canvas.

Thank you all for your kind support and encouragement.

New works:

Forest Sequence I
Oil on canvas, 4' x 10'  $39950 unframed
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT
More about this oil on Ken blog, For the Color

Forest Surprise, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 inches  $9150 framed
Saks Galleries, Denver
More about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color

Forest Colors Arrayed
Oil on canvas, 36 x 36  $4450 unframed
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

Currently exhibiting:

Last Colors
Pastel on sanded paper, 18 x 12   $1350 framed
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
More about this pastel on Ken's blog, For the Color

Edge of the Forest
Oil on canvas, 36 X 36      $5100 framed
Exhibiting: Saks Galleries, Denver
More about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color

Bright Distance
Oil on canvas, 20 x 28      $2950 framed
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

Blue Skyscape
oil on canvas, 36 x 60   $8450 framed
Madelyn Jordan Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY
Video: Ken discusses this making of this oil

Grateful notices:

Wood at the Lake II
oil on panel, 24 x 24    Private collection
Exhibited: Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

Meadows Aglow
18 3/4 X 15    Private collection, CA
Exhibited: Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

Workshops / Private Sessions:
Group and Private Lesson Video

This October 1-4, Casey Klahn and I will offer a 4-day Mentoring / Intensive, Fine Art Workshop. Amazing things happen in these workshops! $750.  There will be some serious information impacted and serious breakthroughs will result!  Limited to 9 artists, $750 each.  Flyer  Complete info on my website

Photo from the previous Casey Klahn / Ken Elliott 4-day workshop. We filled the room with a number of very good artists, good information and laughs. Breakthroughs happen here!

I will happily come to your location and work with your group as well. Let's have a conversation and make it happen!
Please inquire

Take your work to new heights. These workshops and private sessions will focus on strategies for making better paintings, going to new places in your work and making fine art. We will be going deeper into making better and more appealing artworks with a variety of strategies including Photoshop insights made easy.
Contact Ken to learn more or to schedule a workshop in your area.  all workshop info

Sign up for these Fine Art Classes. You will receive information that will last a lifetime.


A Survey of Paintings and Prints at the PACE Center
with works in oils, pastels and monotypes. This exhibition catalog can be purchased online here.
30 color pages and text by the artist. $10 plus $4 postage.

Ken Elliott American Landscapes coffee table book:

Ken Elliott book, American Landscapes
This large coffee table book reprises 25 years of my works in oil, pastel, monotype, etching and collage.Large, coffee table hardback version, 11 x 13 inches, 94 color pages with essays. Book and a signed giclee print of the cover image: $150 or just order the book for $115.

Also available as an iBook / download on Apple devices for $9.99. You can preview the complete book and how to order your electronic or hardback versions from my website.
My Blog, For the Color

Want to follow along in my studio?
Come across some interesting art bits and intriguing posts from elsewhere? Check out my artist's blog: For the Color and on the right of the blog under Followers, click Join this Site. Right now you can view vintage videos of Renoir, Degas, a Piet Mondrian video montage, comments about my works and observations about museum artworks from some recent trips.

View my newest artworks:
This monthly newsletter is the best way to stay up to date with my new works and events. You can also follow me on Facebook and go more in depth with my blog, For the Color. To view the total of my works in all media and in all my galleries, go to

Thank you,
Contact Ken


Art Blog: For the Color

Sign up for this monthly

Image top:

Forest Sequence I
Oil on canvas, 4' x 10'
(cropped image)

American Art Collector Magazine:
"Elliott's canvases display the strikingly vivid modern hues in which he chooses to render his contemporary landscapes." 

Southwest Art Magazine:
Although his paintings loosely reference photographs and plein-air sketches, they refuse to exist within the confines of already-prescribed images.

Rather, they stand independent of any specific place or time, the fulfilled pursuits of the artist’s visual and intellectual explorations.

Elliott wields color boldly, creating sizzling, vibrant shapes that are at once kinetic and placid, grounded in unifying illumination, and focused compositions.

He has a fascination with line structure as well, believing that “edges empower colors.” 

Private Lessons:
I have really enjoyed giving private lessons over the years. It is casual, focused and fun.

There will be a big result in your approach to making fine art and clarity on your career strategies. Give me a call and we'll discuss what works best for you.

Lodging and transportation can be provided for the Castle Rock Workshops.

What they are Saying:

"I had a clue what might be in store for my friends, but it went WAY beyond. You have a real gift. What a FANTASTIC couple of days!!!’


"Your painting demonstrations and the information you gave us  was invaluable- no wonder your paintings are so moving. I so enjoyed meeting you. Thank you for coming to Virginia."   Sally

"Thank you so much for the wonderful, thought compelling workshop. You rekindled my love for making art. Your enthusiasm is contagious and felt throughout the room. You set up a stimulating environment that provided continuous visual images and your generosity in sharing those photos was much appreciated. I found you to be humorous, supportive and kind. I would recommend you as an instructor to anyone who would like to take their art to the next level."
"I can't thank you enough for coming to Boulder! Thank you for your clear eye, your hard work, your beautiful color and your careful feedback. I'm now a different Painter...maybe a different person?

I loved the weekend. And I can't wait until we get to soak up your love for the work, for Wolf Kahn, for COLOR -- yet again (note that I'm greedy). You are an amazing addition to our lives."

"Thank you so much for lighting up our lives and our paintings at this past weekend’s workshop! I loved hearing about your time with Wolf Kahn, your thoughts on painting, the beautiful demo, and of course the great feedback you provided us on our own paintings.

You really reignited my desire to paint freely. Thanks also for your generosity in sharing the numerous links.

I hope to spend another weekend painting with you sometime soon."

"Thank you for the workshop! It was a great two days. You are an amazing host and instructor, (two things that don’t always work together).

You pulled something from each of us and it was wonderful to be a part of it. Thanks to the moon and back,"

"Thank you Ken. It was a wonderment! I learned so much."

"I so enjoyed meeting you and being part of the workshop. You got me on fire!!!!!"
"Wow! My weekend of private lessons was fabulous! While I was there I stepped into a whole new world that my soul was calling for.

Wonderful conversations, a beautiful time with great art everywhere and artistic success!"

"It was a fabulous workshop! I know we all had a lot of fun and really enjoyed having you here. We would love to have you come back again next year!"

"Just wanted to thank you again for a very inspiring, informative, and fun workshop. I worked LARGE today!"
"Thank you for all your inspiration!"

"Thanks SO VERY MUCH, Ken, for such a fun, informative, and energetic workshop. Your enthusiasm is contagious. What a wonderful weekend!!"

"When I signed up for a painting workshop, who knew that it would be so much more.Thank you Ken. For your kindness, generosity of spirit, and sharing your knowledge and skill of painting with us.

Thank you to everyone for making our time together a magical weekend which will be cherished. Fortunately the universe provided me with what I needed, whether I knew it or not."

"Love the class, you are a great teacher!"
"I feel so enriched and on fire to paint big and glowing colors. If you ever get a chance to study with Ken Elliott, I highly recommend him. If you need help getting to his workshops just read his book Manifesting 123"
Francine "


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