Monday, February 18, 2019

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

Saccades XIV, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches  $13500 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

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

Workshop: Moving to the Next Level with Ken Elliott / Colorado 2019 / Sat - Sun, February 23-24

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

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Grateful Notices: Color at the Edge of the Lake, oil on canvas, 30 x 48 inches

Color at the Edge of the Lake, oil on canvas, 30 x 48 inches
Private collection
Exhibited: Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

It was a nice surprise to get a call from Dominique with the news that one of her clients had just purchased this painting for their home. I was in the Colorado mountains at the time with views of a snowy paradise all around and the gallery call just capped an already perfect day. Thank you!

Here are the earlier blog notes describing this painting:

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.