Monday, March 25, 2019

Making It Fine Art Workshop / Castle Rock, March 2019

Some of the results from the sold out class.  More photos below

We just finished up the latest Making it Fine Art Workshop: Moving to the Next Level class last weekend. It was a pleasure working with this wonderful group of artists and watching the breakthroughs emerge!

Thank you all for filling the class and I'm looking forward to seeing your progress!

Here's what's coming up next:

My next Workshop with be with Casey Klahn and me in Castle Rock, CO, Thurs-Sun, April 25-28 Complete info and registration workshop flyer
Limited to 8 artists, $750 each, 4 spaces left
Contact Ken

Open to artists in all media. This is a two-instructor workshop for artists wanting to make advancements in their techniques and strategies. Casey and Ken will have ample time to give very focused attention to individuals and offer a number of provoking ideas to the group.

More photos from the March, 2019 Workshop:








Thursday, March 21, 2019

Grateful Notices: Contrasts at the Creek, oil on canvas 47.5 x 47.5 inches

Contrasts at the Creek, oil on canvas 47.5 x 47.5 inches

It is always a pleasure to hear that a sale has come through, and in this case from an esteemed art consultant in the Boston area. This is a favorite work I did some years ago using a strip landscape as a backdrop for the overall tree patterns. 

There is plenty of bright color coming through the darks and everything is further accentuated by the band of sky and even brighter glow from the creek. 

I was very happy to hear that the oil went into a private collection and they sent me a photo of the installation. Thank you!



Monday, March 4, 2019

Ken Elliott Making it Fine Art Workshop: Moving to the Next Level / Castle Rock, CO / March 23 -24, 2019


Winters Morning  oil on canvas 36 x 48 inches


Ken Elliott Making it Fine Art Workshop: Moving to the Next Level

Denver Metro / Castle Rock, CO
Sat-Sun, March 23-24, 2019
2 1/2 days



Limited to 6 artists, $390 each   3 spaces left


Open to artists in all media. Ken will discuss strategies for creating better artworks with a variety of common and creative tools.


The workshop will focus the strategies for making better artworks, going to new places in your work and how to make fine art. He will use informative videos and pass on strategies not the literature, but handed down from the very best teachers.

Also, Ken will present simple Photoshop techniques for taking your works to the next level and creating better pathways for finishing your artworks. You will be given a Photoshop instruction guide and have access to Ken's personal photo file of over 1500 inspiring images by various artists.







in the class


in the class / oil


in the class / pastel

Sunday, February 24, 2019

New Work: Cloudswept in Blue, 0il on panel, 24 x 24 inches


Cloudswept in Blue
Oil on panel, 24 x 24 on panel    $2450 framed
Saks Galleries, Denver

Looking out over the snow covered fields, I became enamored of the many of blues in combination. Compositionally, I was looking for something interesting in the stark fields when I noticed that the cloud forms held an array of blues as well.

The clouds were a perfect counterpart to the simple landscape below and more interesting than the fields on their own. It was a very still and quiet day with the sunset just beginning to add the yellows and pinks to everything. With those warm colors added in, the scene came to life, making a place where all of the blues could gather harmoniously.



Monday, February 18, 2019

New Work: Saccades XIV, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 inches

Saccades XIV, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 inches  $9850 framed
Saks Galleries, Denver

With this view of the forest, the colors are very unnatural but the result is believable and interesting. While painting this oil I continued to lay in new colors, pushing this forest view beyond the typical portrait of a place. This wood doesn't exist in nature but it easily recognizable for what it is, a stand of trees receding into space.

As the painting developed, different lighting options were tried out: color, brightness, shadows-no shadows and more. Finally, I decided on a soft, yellow glow that permeated everything, making it difficult to find the source of the light.

There is a bit of sky in the upper right, but it's not a focal point and that is the nature of this Saccades series. The composition draws the eye across the canvas in all directions without resting.

It's an interesting result seeing this oil on the wall because the entire canvas becomes an art object rather than a picture of a place. The large oil transcends the pictorial and becomes a glowing presence in the room. It was a satisfying task to create this delightful and intriguing place.




Sunday, February 10, 2019


Winters Morning  oil on canvas 36 x 48 inches


Ken Elliott Making it Fine Art Workshop: Moving to the Next Level

Denver Metro / Castle Rock, CO
Sat-Sun, March 23-24, 2019
2 1/2 days



Limited to 6 artists, $390 each   4 spaces left


Open to artists in all media. Ken will discuss strategies for creating better artworks with a variety of common and creative tools.

The workshop will focus the strategies for making better artworks, going to new places in your work and how to make fine art. He will use informative videos and pass on strategies not the literature, but handed down from the very best teachers.

Also, Ken will present simple Photoshop techniques for taking your works to the next level and creating better pathways for finishing your artworks. You will be given a Photoshop instruction guide and have access to Ken's personal photo file of over 1500 inspiring images by various artists.







in the class


in the class / oil


in the class / pastel





Monday, February 4, 2019

In the Studio, February 4, 2019

In the Studio, February 4, 2019
After a few days making new starts in oil, it's good to look back at that group of paintings and evaluate where things are headed.

Problems abound!

Every oil has its own personality by now and each presents a unique set of obstacles to overcome. At the end of the day today that's exactly why I stopped working on this group. But then there was still some daylight, so a grabbed a pre-stretched 48 x 60 canvas and began another problem child, making 7 canvases now in progress, two that are not in this shot.

Having all of this interesting, raw material around makes me look forward to tomorrows session where I will work on one canvas after another, inching them forward to completion.... or not sometimes.

Its glorious work when it goes well, otherwise those unruly canvases end up in a stack on the floor at the bottom right for another chance or to be painted over. This is not a loss, just a delayed opportunity.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

New Work: Saccades XIII Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Saccades XIII Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM  $8950 framed

I love these somewhat abstract Saccades works with their endless variations. For this piece, I wanted the yellow to be predominant but not accompanied by the usual birch or aspen tree markings. The idea was to create a forest with depth that allows this yellow glow surround.

There isn't any sky visible and that adds to the effect of a totally yellow view into this forest. The forest ground also is aglow with a number of colors that add to the overall effect but with color that is more modern, not green grass and ground. 

Overall, the effect is luminous and interesting everywhere, creating an effect where the eye never completely rests on a focal point.


About the Saccades Series shown here:
"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 Errol Morris, NY Times

Monday, January 21, 2019

New Work: Meadow View, High Contrast oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches


Meadow View, High Contrast  oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches

When I step outside my studio and look to the foothills, I see this view. On one of those occasions I caught this orange sky at sunset and it prompted me to start this oil. Since the sky is a bit surreal, it compelled me to push the colors of the trees rather than using the drab greens in real life.

Once I started the canvas, things were going along nicely but after giving it a pause for a few days, the painting was lacking more punch. Obligingly, I added more colors to the line of trees and more changes to the back hills and foreground.

Two days later, I had just finished up a private lesson and in the corner of the studio, this meadow view was calling out for more work - a bigger move. There were a number of colors still on the palette from the class and a pale cobalt blue stood out. I loaded up a brush, walked over to the big oil and added the glowing blue across the top of the foothills. That made a larger change than I had counted on, but the result was a good one.

That blue really moved the painting forward and more changes would be needed to bring the rest of the oil up to that higher mark. The foreground was lacking something, being in its present green meadow state. To correct that, my first move was to add the blue-purple banding at the top of the meadow under the trees and then overpaint the meadow grass with a variety of soft colors.

The oil was essentially finished and the rest of the time was spent in what I call 'tuning up' the canvas with a variety of brighter colors, giving attention to edges and working on small compositional elements.

Looking back, the painting is quite simple, two light areas divided by one dark one but hundreds of brushstrokes make it happen. I feel so fortunate to be a painter.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Grateful Notices: Gathering Light II, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Gathering Light II, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches Private collection
Exhibited: Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

How far can you push red and orange in a landscape? As it turns out, quite a bit. The wall of colors in this background pushed the whole painting into a hot and surreal scene that demanded more bold moves to make it work - high contrast darks and bright yellows. 

it is always a pleasure to do a high-key oil like this but in order to do so, the real world has to be abandoned and given over to this new world of delicious brights in a red atmosphere. The real-world subtleties of greys and soft tones are burned out, leaving the a chord of bright, clear notes. Sometimes you just wanna shout!

My thanks to the collectors that purchased this oil from Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM.


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Evening Patterns
Oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches $12500 unframed
Saks Galleries, Denver
More about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color
Video: Ken discusses this oil

Next Workshop:

Making it Fine Art: Moving to the Next Level with Ken Elliott


Castle Rock, CO, 2019
Sat - Sun, March 23-24


2 1/2 day Workshop
Sat - Sun, 9-4pm
Sat evening after break, 4:30 -7pm, Photoshop Tools and discussions.
Limited to 6 artists, $390 each Workshop flyer   Register online
Contact Ken

Open to artists in all media. Ken will discuss strategies for creating better artworks with a variety of common and creative tools. The workshop will focus the strategies for making better artworks, going to new places in your work and how to make fine art. He will use informative videos and pass on strategies not in the literature, but handed down from the very best teachers.

We will be going deeper into making better and more appealing artworks with a variety of strategies. 

Saturday evening, I will show you Photoshop techniques for taking your works to the next level and creating better pathways for finishing your artworks. You will be given a Photoshop guide and have access to a large photo file of over 1500 inspiring artworks.

Ken will demonstrate painting using oil and pastel. He will discuss the idea of making strong starts and keeping the way open for more interesting and dramatic finishes. Ample time will be given to live problem solving and creative options.


We previously had a fabulous Making it Fine Art Workshop where we launched new directions, had artistic thrills, great conversations and new friends were made!
Thank you all for coming and I’m very appreciative that you took these photos, Maureen.

Some of the canvases begun during a recent Workshop


Art critique
Art critique








Art demo on a work in progress, Red Progression, oil on canvas, 48 x 72 inches