Friday, November 30, 2018

Grateful Notices: Forest Surprise, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 inches

Forest Surprise, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 inches
Privarte collection, Denver

My dear thanks to the couple that purchased this work for their new home.

This particular oil wasn't easy but it wasn't made to be. I wanted a row of red trees showing through a lattice of tree trunks and foliage. Simple enough, but many of these elements began to take on a 'need' for the light to filter through in various ways, leaving a lot of possible options.

Another consideration presented itself: how much front to back depth should I allow? I went for a number of layers of depth in the foreground and out beyond the red trees.  This was going to be a intricate forest, so how to keep it interesting?

Complexities continued to be added but I kept to the idea of light illuminating that line of red trees. Knowing what the painting is about is very important. In this case, that knowledge kept me from getting lost in a convoluted forest.

It took numerous sessions to complete, with the final two in the company of Terry, who flew in for private lessons. A lot of information was imparted with this oil as different colors and compositional elements were tried. It was a bit of a circus at times with all of the artful juggling, but an enjoyable process as all the elements finally found their optimal places and the painting was declared done.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

New Work: Evening Patterns, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Evening Patterns, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches
Saks Galleries, Denver  $12500. unframed

View the video

To begin, I followed my fascination with these delicate trees and the the limb patterns. A number of colors were initially blocked in and as the painting progressed, the blue/greens began to dominate.

Once the purples and pinks were added, the entire composition began to come together. It's not quite monochromatic and it's not really evening, but some condition between light and dark. I purposely left that bit of yellow light at the waters edge to help the composition and raise the question of how that can happen. And another question: Is that water?

Everything here is ambiguous by design. The painting just evolved that way and I followed it along, revealing some of the mysteries and leaving others. It's more satisfying that way, not knowing of everything in the forest.

Monday, November 19, 2018

November News:

We are fully in the season here in Colorado and what an inspiring time of year. While in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I spotted a moose just outside the living room window, apparently taking a little break!

Here is a summary of exhibitions, two new workshops for 2019, and a few of my works exhibiting around the country. I would like to add my many thanks to those that have placed my art in public venues and have added me to their personal collections.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Denver, CO
Saks Galleries Winter Fest
Saturday, December 8, 11am-3pm.
A group show with Holiday music and refreshments.

New Canaan, CT
Sorelle Gallery, a 2-person show. Light Effects with Alina B., through Dec 10.
A number of new works with be exhibited, including my 3 x 10 ft. oil, Forest Sequence I.

New works:

Light Coming from the Back
Oil on canvas, 36 X 36  $5100 framed
Saks Galleries, Denver

Color at the Edge of the Lake
Oil on canvas, 30 x 48  $6400 framed
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
More about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color

Bright Conversation
Oil on panel, 24 x 24  $2150 unframed
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT
More about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color

Currently exhibiting:

Gathering Light II
Oil on canvas, 48 X 48  $8950 framed
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

Foothill Glow
Oil on canvas, 40 x 40  $6650 framed
Madelyn Jordan Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY

Lake Palette II
Oil on canvas 36 x 60  $7500 unframed
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

Forest Sequence I
Oil on canvas, 48 X 120 inches, on two 48 x 60 inch canvases
$29950 unframed

Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CTMore about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color
Video / Ken discusses this oil

Grateful notices:

Is This Moonlight?
Oil on panel, 24 x 24  Private collection

Skyline Yellows and Blues
Oil on canvas, 36 x 36  Private collection

Saccades VII
Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches  Private collection

Workshops / Private Sessions /Studio Visits:

Here's a video about what happens in the Group and Private Workshops
Contact Ken to arrange a studio visit or Workshop. It is always a pleasure to meet you.

Castle Rock, Colorado
Sat - Sun, February 23-24
2 1/2 day Workshop, Making it Fine Art: Moving to the Next Level with Ken Elliott
Saturday - Sunday, 9-4pm; Sat evening after break, 4:30 -7, Photoshop Tools and discussions.
Limited to 8 artists, $390 each. More information and registration on the website.

Castle Rock, Colorado, a 4-day Mentoring / Intensive, Fine Art Workshop with myself and Casey Klahn, Thurs - Sun, April 25-28.
Complete info and registration Contact Ken
Limited to 8 artists, (6 openings left) $750 each. We hope to see you there!

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. all workshop info

Hope to see you at these Fine Art Workshops. 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,

Workshop Video: What Really Goes on in Ken Elliott's Fine Art Workshop

Ken talks about his Fine Art Workshops

View the Video

Next Workshop
Fri - Sun, February 23-24, 2019
A 2 1/2 day Workshop
Making it Fine Art: Moving to the Next Level with Ken Elliott
Limited to 8 artists, $390 each. More information and registration on the website.

Open to artists in all media.
Contact Ken about possible transportation arrangements
This is a new, advanced version of Ken's Making it Fine Art Workshop. We will be going deeper into making better and more appealing artworks with a variety of strategies and with Photoshop insights made easy.
Limited to 6 artists, $390 each.
Contact Ken

Sunday, November 18, 2018

New Work: Bright Conversation, oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches

Bright Conversation, oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches  $2150 unframed
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

This oil started with that bright yellow sky. Since this is a 24 x 24 image, things can happen really fast and they did! I was searching for a means to create the opposite of that bright sky, something dark, by using a line of colorful trees.  

A number of tree patterns came and went until the present shape emerged with that dark reveal at the base of the trees. The foreground went through of permutations as well, with a number of complex to simple arrangements being tried out. 

At one point during the creation of this I realized that despite the scale, the time involved was the same as a much larger oil. It was still a 500 piece puzzle, so to speak, but the pieces were just smaller.

The work finally started to come together with the addition of the hot pink and purple in the distant hill and a generous about of ochres and yellows everywhere.

I thought it was done and left it for a couple of days, but seeing it fresh in the studio again it came off just a bit too monochromatic, so the greens and blues were added just under the base of the trees and at the bit of standing water in the lower left.

...looks like a good idea for a much larger oil. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

New Work: Color at the Edge of the Lake, oil on canvas, 48 x 30 inches

Color at the Edge of the Lake
Oil on canvas, 48 x 30 inches  $6400 framed
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

I was visiting a friend in the Baltimore area some years ago and came across a photo from that trip, a small stand of trees at the edge of a lake. The photograph was very different, with even lighting and all green foliage.

Regardless, I liked the composition and began the painting with a somewhat subdued palette. After a few sessions, the painting evolved into scene with the light coming in from the back, accentuating the dark trunks in the foreground,

There is a lot of color involved, each with its own part of the tapestry. Earlier, the foreground was darker with more blues but I later opted for a soft carpet of jewel tones spaced among the slightly glowing greens. 

At this point the subdued palette idea went out the window once I added the more powerful colors to the wall of trees beyond the lake. It was a delight to push the color back there and now I'll pass it onto you.

Grateful Notices: Edge of the Woods, Autumn, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Edge of the Woods, Autumn, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches
Private collection
Exhibited: Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

This is a canvas demonstration from a workshop I did in Kansas City. I wanted to do a simple, red line of trees, somewhat abstracted and with varying degrees of complexity to make it convincing.

As it turns out, this oil is much more than red trees because the reds are supported and amplified by a variety of other, non-red colors. The orange and pink notes at the base of the trees provide an unexpected light source and interest.

The white clouds on the upper right were accidental. When I was painting in the sky, I left that area open, leaving the white canvas. My intention was to add some kind of tree highlight into that space but the bit of white was much more interesting, so clouds it became with the white contrast helping the reds stand out even more. It was very helpful to have an interesting element on that side of the oil.

The black trunks on the bottom left boost the reds further and add a much needed contrast and definition to the composition. 

Again, this is a simple idea but as the painting progressed in class, it became apparent that it would take additional sessions in the studio back home where I continued my own painting lessons until it was complete.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Grateful Notices: Saccades VII, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Saccades VII, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

What a surprise and thrill to have a dear friend purchase a large artwork for their home... I felt much honored. I really enjoy the freedom of these somewhat abstracted forest scenes.

The idea of this Saccades series is to create a more abstracted forest scene that works without a singular point of focus. This oil is pattern and color with equal interest everywhere. The greens and yellows are pushed but contained by the irregular verticals and the blues. I found that the more those colors were increased, the more attractive the oil became, creating a greater need for more powerful contrasts.

This cycle carried on for a month until a completed the painting emerged, a window into a forest that is alive with the yellows animating the scene and projecting everything forward in the space.

About the word Saccades:
"Since the late 19th century, researchers have been aware of the phenomenon of saccades, the rapid movement of the eye as we shift our attention from one thing to another. As a result, vision itself is discontinuous. We construct a “map of reality” from saccades much as a film editor puts together a scene from individual camera takes."

From an article by the film maker Earl Morris, NY Times