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

2017
Visit the Workshops page on my website for complete information and registration.


GATHERING LIGHT II
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"
Pastel
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. Only 2 openings left!

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 www.northriverarts.org
Register by contacting Peggy Bruno 781-837-8091 or email northriverarts@gmail.com

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.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New Work: Yellows at the Two Creeks, oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

Yellows at the Two Creeks, oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

I did a pastel sketch of this tree grouping about two months ago and started this oil shortly after. The best way to describe this is by saying it's a composition in yellow using cottonwood trees as a starting point.

Glowing Cottonwoods pastel 7 x 9.5 inches

The pastel was more about what the cottonwoods looked like and in this oil, I focused on what the yellows can do. Everything in the painting is about setting up the those brightest, glowing spots in the  trees.

Every part of this oil has it's own life and vitality regardless of the color or brightness. As it emerged, it became more complicated than I expected but I enjoyed the challenge.

After a number of adjustments, the background was still off with too much darkness in the back. I tried a number of color variations but it was still lacking something.

Finally, I came up with the idea of adding more yellows at the upper-right, giving the background more depth and interest and the entire composition came together in a more interesting way.

I'm looking forward to more variations of this idea because you never know what can happen when you follow the needs of the oil instead of the source material. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

New Work: Dusk Approaching, oil on canvas, 48 x 30 inches

Dusk Approaching
Oil on canvas, 48 X 30 inches  $6400 framed
Exhibiting: Saks Galleries, Denver



As it often happens, this canvas started out as a fairly bright autumn piece. In that first version, there was something good about the way the blues and lavenders played off each other.

I added more of that combination because it was delicious to do so. At some point, the autumn scene became more of an evening mass of trees with the addition of more greens.

The painting has 5-6 discreet color zones, each complimenting the others and keeping the oil from being too monochrome. I made a point in the last painting session to separate all of the remaining colors but in subtle ways. The color is pushed a bit as well but within the idea of a receding dusk / tranquil moment in the forest. The lighting is not too bright, but enough to allow all the colors to glow.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Workshop: Castle Rock, CO: April 15-18, 2017

Ken Elliott
Winters Morning II
oil on canvas 60 x 60 inches
Exhibiting: Saks Gallery, Denver


Here is an opportunity to make your artworks soar!

Complete Workshop information and registration


Casey Klahn
Long Remembered New Vision
13" x 21"
Pastel

May 15-18, 2017
Castle Rock, CO (Denver Metro)

Casey Klahn and I will be holding a 4-day intensive art workshop at my home / studio in Castle Rock, CO (Denver metro)
$690. per person
3 openings left

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


Monday, February 20, 2017

In the Studio: February 20, 2017



Here are 4 works in progress - I like seeing them in the frames even before they are finished.

The bottom left (3 x 5") and center oil (3 x 4) have been seriously redone, painted over and in the case of the center one, painted over a couple of times more.

Currently in the studio there are nine works in progress and the closest to finishing are the 4 in this photo. 

The studio is always an interesting place with plenty to explore and paintings to improve on. To get where I want to go as an artist, I have to push ahead and create more problems - to be in a place where the artwork is full of unknowns and unfinished business. Some require big moves and others small improvements.

I have learned that sometimes the most efficient way to finish a problem painting is to redo it in a very big way. The two oils being redone here are in a far better place than before and it is wonderful to see them further along as more interesting paintings.


Friday, February 3, 2017

New Work: Aglow in Purple, oil on canvas 40 x 40 inches

Aglow in Purple, oil on canvas 40 x 40 inches




For a couple of years I had a canvas in the corner of the studio with a start that never went anywhere. There were trees on the left and right, but it just wasn’t working and the composition needed a fresher start.

So, I declared that today was the day, as I put the canvas on the easel. and after some study, I made a simple plan. The idea was to use a lot of greens and make something interesting from that poor start. Different compositions were tried but nothing clicked until I added the purples to the center of the scene. It was an experiment, but once that color made contact with the canvas, everything else just fell into place. Soon I was tuning the other colors to accommodate that far purple. All was going well.

Not really.

After putting the oil away for a couple of days and bringing it into the studio again, it was lacking something. Again, just to see what would happen, I put in a few bright lime notes up in the trees and then the birds sang.

I really enjoy going for the unexpected result. Big thrills await!