Wednesday, May 24, 2017

New Work: Radiant View, oil one panel 24 x 24 inches

Radiant View
Oil on panel 24 x 24 inches $2450 framed

As I often do, I saw a nice sunset while stopped at a red light and took a photo of it through the windshield. It wasn't one of those OMG shots but I did like the way the sun lit up a small slice of the sky behind the foothills.

What you see here is a tiny, vertical slice of the wider photograph that is focused on the band of bright light that caught my attention. The composition is set up in an unusual way with the land and sky dividing the painting equally. The top portion has a very wide range of color and is fully illuminated, leaving a compositional problem for the bottom.

My focus was on the sky but the land mass needed to be interesting and fully contribute to the painting as well. While trying out a number of ideas, a blue-mauve color combination began to emerge and with it the feeling of mass. It made a great counterpoint to the delicate sky and created a more powerful oil.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Workshop completed: Casey Klahn and Ken Elliott May 2017

Casey Klahn and I just wrapped up our recent Workshop at my home / studio last week.

This was a 4 day Mentoring class and a lot of ground was covered. Casey and I demonstrated in oil and pastel, did intensive work with everyone, provided focused Photoshop instruction, and the results were terrific. We also got 5" of snow but it didn't slow us down. 

There was abundant instruction, new ideas and 4 days of fun with wonderful artists.

We will be doing it again in the Denver metro, October 2017. 
Full details will be posted on Ken's Workshop page.

The Worksop attendees and Casey (Ken not pictured)
In the Workshop

Ken Elliott oil demo, 60 x 36 inches. In progress

Casey Klahn pastel demo  approx. 11 x 10

In the workshop

Casey doing a critique

Bonnie's oil 36 x 24 inches

Pat's pastel

Cheri's oil, 24 x 30  Nice to have a frame handy!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New Works / Exhibiting: At the Ponds Edge and Saccades VII

I will be in a group show that opens this Friday, May 12th at the Saks Galleries.

Annual Spring Fling, Group Exhibition of New Works
Opening Reception, Friday, May 12, 5-8pm
3019 E 2nd Ave, Denver, CO 80206 map
Continuing through June 30

Here are two new works from the exhibition:

Oil on canvas, 48 x 60  $10950.
Exhibiting: Saks Galleries, Denver

This is the largest work of this series. I'm drawn to the intersections of sky, land and water and particularly how the trees come into contact with each of those elements. There is an amazing amount of hours that went into the making of this one. It shows in the painting texture with all those strokes and successive ideas as layers upon layers. This oil first had an incarnation as an autumn scene but I became enamored with the blues and slowly brought them to prominence, shifting into spring. More time in the studio with innumerable color experiments and before you know it, fall became spring.

When viewing it close up, it is a painting with literally thousands of lace-like marks with each color uniquely contributing to the whole. Everything is done with restraint and a light touch.  The end result is a line of trees with substantial mass. Except for the base of the trees, all of the foliage and sky edges are delicate and barely there with the early spring light diffused everywhere.

Oil on canvas, 40 X 40  $6650 framed
Exhibiting: Saks Galleries, Denver

The idea of the 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."

Monday, May 1, 2017

Article: Artists on Art, May - June 2017

Ken was just profiled in Artists on Art, an online art magazine. This is a very high quality, commercial free, bi-monthly artist showcase by subscription.

There are incredible artists profiled here and I'm honored to be included here.

The article is about motivation and keeping the bar high as an artist.

It's entitled Thrill.
Hope you enjoy it.

View the May -June 2017 article here with text and photos.

Award: 2017 Colorado Governor's Art Show

Yellows at the Two Creeks
Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches    $6800. framed
I'm happy to announce that I was honored with an Award of Merit at the 2017 Colorado Governor's Art Show last week. There was one Best of Show that went to Mark Bailey and then a handful of Merit Awards. I am fortunate to share 'second place' with the others awarded as well as the 55 other exhibiting artists juried in from almost 300 entries.

Earlier I blogged about the making of this work. You can read about it here.

The show and sale continues through May 28.
Here is all the info:

Governor's Art Show and Sale at the Loveland Museum, Loveland, CO
The exhibit is free and open to the public through May 28.
503 N. Lincoln Avenue Loveland, CO 80537 map
view all the artists juried into this showSaveSave

Also in the exhibit:

oil on canvas, 48 X 48      $8950 framed

oil on panel 24 X 24 $2150 unframed

oil on panel 24 X 24 $2150 unframed

Saturday, April 15, 2017

New Work: A Green Strategy / "Trees in Half Shade II", oil on canvas 48 x 60 inches

Trees in Half Shade II, oil on canvas 48 x 60 inches
$10950. framed
Exhibiting: Saks Galleries, Denver

Trees in a green park, with green grass - green everywhere.

It's a balancing act to handle that much green. For many landscape artists, green creates a lot of difficulty - myself included for many years.

This oil is the larger version of a 36 x 36 oil completed in late 2015. The play of light from left to right is the obvious part and it sets up the entire painting, but the background (pun) story here is how to use a larger number of greens and keep everything fresh.

Here's a green strategy:

For this work, I started with a number of greens and blue-greens on the palette, along with light, medium and dark grays. Virtually all of the greens were mixed with one of those grays, yielding an interesting group of colors without that out-of-the tube look. The greens also got a lot of support from the blues, purples, pinks and the dark contrasts.

I just kept pushing the colors with brighter blues, aquas and mauves to take the painting further. Once it was done... it wasn't done. I continued to tune it for another two weeks, very small touches of a couple of minutes each. There is a lot of surface area here and I made sure that every part of the canvas was alive and radiant.

There was never any pressure to finish, only to make a large and compelling work. Once it was completed, it felt like a full orchestra played the last bar, packed and left the studio. There was that empty spot in the room for a short time and then new starts began to fill the space.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Art Workshop Schedule, 2017

Visit the Workshops page on my website for complete information and registration.

oil on canvas, 48 X 48 $8950 framed
Exhibiting: Governor's Art Show and Sale at the Loveland Museum, Loveland, CO

Where The Wild Things Are, Texas
9" x 8"
Casey Klahn

May 15-18, 2017
Casey Klahn and I will be holding a 4-day intensive art workshop at my home / studio in Castle Rock, CO (Denver metro)
This class is almost at the limit of 8 students, $690 each.
The class has filled. Contact Ken about a possible new Castle Rock date in late summer or early fall.

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. 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. Register here

Ken Elliott
Late Palette II
oil on canvas 36 x 60

August 26-27, 2017
Marshfield, MA

Sponsored by the North River Art Society
157 Old Main St, Marshfield Hills, MA 02051
Fri - Sat, 9-4pm
Sat evening after break, 4:30 -6, Photoshop Tools

Members $425, non-members $465. Payable to the North River Art Society
Register by contacting Peggy Bruno 781-837-8091 or email

Open to artists in all media. 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!

Workshop flyer Complete information on the Workshop page Contact Ken

Denver, CO, Fall 2017
Tentative planning:
Making it Fine Art Workshops / Advanced Strategies 2 1/2-Day Workshops with Ken Elliott

Open to artists in all media. 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..
Complete information on the Workshop page Contact Ken to schedule a workshop in your area.