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

Workshops: Castle Rock, CO: March 11-12 and April 15-18, 2017

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


Here are two opportunities for making your artworks soar!

Complete Workshop information and registration

Castle Rock, CO (Denver Metro)
Sat - Sun, March 11-12, 2017
Two openings left

Making it Fine Art Workshops / Advanced Strategies 2 1/2-Day
This is a new, advanced version of Ken's Making it Fine Art Workshop
Saturday 9am-4pm and 5-7pm, Sunday 9-4
Two places left

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. After dinner, I will also show you Photoshop techniques Saturday evening 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.
Limited to 6 artists, $390.
flyer and supply list Register here

And


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)
This class is almost at the limit of 8 students, $690 each.

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!


Friday, January 27, 2017

New Work: Soft Sunset, oil on canvas, 24 X 48

Soft Sunset, oil on canvas, 24 X 48

Occasionally there is a canvas that never makes it to competition. Soft Sunset was one of those pieces, continually evolving, presenting more problems and demanding a good finish.

I have a few of these problem works currently stacked in the studio, patiently waiting for the last brushstrokes to pull it all together. 

This canvas was started at least three years ago and for whatever reason, I found the solution last week. The painting was too bright with a number of colors competing for attention, keeping it out of balance.

I made a big move by adding grays to almost every part of the canvas, allowing just a bit of the original, brighter colors to gleam through. After that, it was a matter of some color and contrast adjustments, a pleasant task.

Perhaps this same strategy will work on some of the other old canvases.....

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Grateful Notices: View through the Orange and Red Woods, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

View through the Orange and Red Woods, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches
Private collection
This is a simple concept really, bands of trees with a small foreground and glowing background. At least that is what I thought when I began this work. The foreground was kept simple but a number of decisions had to be made as the painting progressed. The tree trunks are not smooth but the ones in the background are. The foreground and background glow but the middle trees do not.

A number of color combinations were tried. I was insisting on the orange / reds, but I couldn't get the primary trees to work to that idea. After many sessions in the studio, I allowed the greens and suddenly, it all began to come together. The dark blues went in, giving interest to the dark areas. That being done, I could finally tune up the yellows and add the rose reds for additional interest.

Finally, I was back working with the original idea of the light coming in behind the trees, adjusting the color and brightness until everything came together as one complex, appealing chord.

My many thanks to the couple that purchased the painting and to Mirada Gallery, CO for your kind help.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Work: Winters Morning II, oil on canvas 60 x 60 inches

Winters Morning II, oil on canvas 60 x 60 inches
Saks Galleries, Denver  $13500 framed

This was a very enjoyable endeavor. This oil is very freshly done, starting with two sessions of turped-thinnned paint. 5 feet square is a lot of area to cover, so using the thinned oils in the first two painting sessions allowed me to completely fill in the canvas and put the composition in a good place for a finish. 

In this version I've added more light, greener foliage and detail.

This canvas is extrapolated from a previous one, Winters Morning 36 x 48, that just sold last week. As it turns out, the 3 x 4 foot canvas was something of a sketch for this larger one.

I did a video of that oil explaining how I painted over an older canvas with a newer idea. You can view the earlier blog about the oil and video here.

Being an artist is a real privilege and the joy flowed into these works.

Winters Morning I, oil on canvas 36 x 48 inches
sold, private collection