Monday, January 15, 2018

New Work: Jeweled Forest, oil on panel, 18 x 24 inches

Jeweled Forest   oil on panel, 18 x 24 inches  $1575.

This is a small work for me and I enjoyed the process. Since I'm typically working in the 4-6 ft range, it is amazing how rapidly things happen in a two foot world!

There was an older oil under this panel that had been sitting around in the studio for about a year. Now that 2018 had begun it felt like a good time to have another go at that image. 

My first thought was to improve the existing oil but as soon as the first brushstroke was applied, I realized that I didn't want to just tweak what was there. Now I had an opportunity to do something much bolder and that's were the orange background came in. 

I'm typically working with 1/2" width brushes and they cover canvases quickly, even at 5 or 6 feet.  In this case, it was like having making an acre of orange forest in minutes with the painting asking, "OK, did that, now what?" 

I was great fun to 'locate' the green trees rather than representing them in detail. The bright greens held their own against the orange background nicely. The yellow foreground in the bottom right is all that remains of the original painting and I used that area as a bright inspiration for everything that followed. 

There are always a lot of options for sky besides blue and that was my plan. First I put down a bit of blue and purposely left remnants of the original oil in the sky. My intention was to bring in another color over the blue creating something different. Hmmmmm, those remnants are nice with those random bits of yellow mingling with the blue... an unexpected surprise that made a common blue sky a lot more interesting. OK then, add another, brighter blue to the mix and create a glowing sky - push the blue.

From there I added more dark, contrasting areas in the trees and it was done. to figure out those other 4-6 foot canvases waiting for their solutions.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Work: Renewal, oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches

New Work: Renewal, oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches

This oil is all about putting paint down to create patterns and surfaces. The color is a big part but I was more focused on keeping things fresh and letting the brushwork show.

As soon the painting began to develop I became enamored of the delicacy in the foreground trees. I began to build a painting around them, using simple bands of color elsewhere. all of the other elements were in place, it became apparent that each required a light touch of their own. That's not to say that I lightly painted everything in and it just worked on the first try. There are a lot of paint layers here from good intentions, false starts and some dead ends.

Regardless, each attempt had merit and I have learned to allow a little bit of those trials to show through. Rather than paint completely over the sky, water or band of trees, I used the previous work as an underpainting. Those remnants of color and edges provided more complexity and interest.

Of course that requires a lot of back and forth, but that is how the painting gets better. This oil was finished three times, or so I kept thinking. When I viewed the 'finished' oil the next day in the studio, my memory of the painting collided with the real thing on the easel and not in a good way, but that's ok. The time away from the oil allowed me to see it more objectively so I could clearly identify what was lacking and consider different solutions to make it better.

Now that this oil is finished, I miss the challenge this painting presented but there are other starts in the studio with delightful potential, patiently waiting their turn.

This is my first work of the new year and as I was putting on the final touches, the name Renewal came to mind. It implies a lot of things and the thought of it keeps us flexible.

Monday, December 11, 2017

New Work: Lake Shadows, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches

Lake Shadows, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches  $4400 framed
I have returned to this image of a reservoir. It's a strip landscape and in this case, one with a lot of complexity. The painting is much about bands of color everywhere and a lot of manipulation was done to get them all to work together.

As the painting developed, my desire was to set up an interesting color combinations. In the process of doing so, I began to push the colors further to create light effects and vibrancy. This oil went through a number of changes with each one taking the oil further compositionally and chromatically. The finished work is alive with shimmering colors.

Initially, I had set out to do a more somber scene with a very limited color selection, but when the yellows and blues kicked in, they were too exciting to tone down and spoil the fun. That somber version will have to wait for another day.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Grateful Notices: Hidden Sunset, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Hidden Sunset, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches  Private collection, Arizona

I had just delivered this oil to Saks Galleries, Denver when I got a phone call from a friend. She and her husband were interested in this oil and asked me to meet then at the gallery so they could see it in person.

Being an artist is very fulfilling at times. Successfully creating a work of art that is challenging and then meeting the people that feel compelled to bring it into their homes is pure gratitude.

My sincere thanks to the collectors and to everyone at the gallery that graciously made it all possible.

Read more about the making of this oil from my previous blog post.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Exhibit Opening: Saks Galleries, Denver. Sat. December 9, 2017

Please join me and other gallery artists for this festive Winterfest opening

Saturday, December 9, 10am - 2 pm

Saks Galleries, Cherry Creek, Denver
There will be refreshments, carolers, and an ornament decorating station. This will be great fun and I'm looking forward to seeing you!

Oil on canvas, 60 x 60   sold

Oil on canvas, 36 X 36   $5100 framed

Video: British artist Steven Wiltshire draws the N.Y. skyline from memory.

NY Times video by Benjamin Norman, Nathan Griffiths and Kaitlyn Mullin
This is a 360 video, so you can use a mouse to move around the video, With a smart phone or tablet, move your device to see the video in all directions.
View it here

After a 45 minute helicopter ride, Steven begins a drawing commissioned by the Empire State Building for their observation deck upgrade project.

His sister says that Michael was mute until he was 5 years old, a special needs child. His school discovered his amazing ability to draw very detailed scenes from memory.

It took him just five days to complete this very large work. Clearly, he has a rare gift and amazing focus.

Thank you Michael, for showing us what is possible. You are my hero.

Michael offers, "Do the best you can and never stop regardless."

Monday, November 20, 2017

Newsletter: November 2017

Ken Elliott's Art Newsletter November 2017
View this email in your browser

November News:

I have much to be grateful for, being fully engaged in the studio with a number of commissions for three locations across the country. Thank you so much for those opportunities.

Commission, private residence, 52 x 32 inches

Sometimes the artist gets to see where their work eventually hangs as was the case this week. After finishing a commission locally, the collector and I hung it over a tall fireplace. I was happy for the sale and the help hanging it!

There are a number of new works in progress (photo below) and it is absolutely energizing to be in that space with those partially completed canvases demanding attention. 

PACE Center opening night

Currently exhibiting, the red canvas above in the 2017 Colorado Showcase at the PACE Center, Parker, CO thorugh December 26. It was an honor to be juried into that show with so many outstanding artists and I hope you get by to see the show.

My best wishes to you and happy Thanksgiving!

New Works:

Hidden Sunset
Oil on canvas, 60 x 60   $13500 framed
More about this work on my blog, For the Color

In the Studio:

Three works in progress, 3 x 5 and two 5 x 5 canvases.

Currently Exhibiting:

Edge of the Woods, Autumn
Oil on canvas 36 x 36   $5100. framed
Exhibiting: PACE Center Art Gallery, Parker, CO as part of the 2017 Colorado Showcase.
Through December 26

Forest Light into Shade
oil on canvas, 48 X 48      $8950 framed
Boston Art, Boston, MA
3 minute video of Ken discussing Forest Light into Shade

Grateful Notices:

Marsh Tones
Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches
Private collection

Workshops / Private Sessions:
Take your work to new heights. These workshops and private sessions will focus on strategies for making better paintings, going to new places in your work and making fine art. We will be going deeper into making better and more appealing artworks with a variety of strategies including Photoshop insights made easy.

Contact Ken to learn more or to schedule a workshop in your area.  all workshop info

Great things happen in these Fine Art Classes with information that will last a lifetime.

Ken's work at the Denver International Airport

Should you find yourself at the Denver Airport, take the time to view my work and those of my gifted Expand artists / colleagues reproduced in the Main Terminal. You will see the images between the baggage claim areas and behind the car rental counters. This “Here to There” themed display was curated by the DIA Art and Culture Program. The airport desired more color in the main terminal spaces and happily, we were allowed to use it as our playground. Many thanks to my fellow artists and everyone that made this possible!
Our EXPAND artist group is comprised of five artists from the Denver metro area: Victoria EubanksJanice McDonaldCarol Ann WaughMary Williams and myself.


A Survey of Paintings and Prints at the PACE Center
with works in oils, pastels and monotypes. This exhibition catalog can be purchased online here.
30 color pages and text by the artist. $10 plus $4 postage.

Ken Elliott American Landscapes coffee table book:

Ken Elliott book, American Landscapes
This large coffee table book reprises 25 years of my works in oil, pastel, monotype, etching and collage.Large, coffee table hardback version, 11 x 13 inches, 94 color pages with essays. Book and a signed giclee print of the cover image: $150 or just order the book for $115.

Also available as an iBook / download on Apple devices for $9.99. You can preview the complete book and how to order your electronic or hardback versions from my website.
My Blog, For the Color

Want to follow along in my studio?
Come across some interesting art bits and intriguing posts from elsewhere? Check out my artist's blog: For the Color and on the right of the blog under Followers, click Join this Site. Right now you can view vintage videos of Renoir, Degas, a Piet Mondrian video montage, comments about my works and observations about museum artworks from some recent trips.

View my newest artworks:
This monthly newsletter is the best way to stay up to date with my new works and events. You can also follow me on Facebook and go more in depth with my blog, For the Color. To view the total of my works in all media and in all my galleries, go to

Thank you,
Contact Ken


Art Blog: For the Color

Sign up for this monthly

Image top:
Hidden Sunset
Oil on canvas, 60 x 60
(cropped here)
American Art Collector Magazine:
"Elliott's canvases display the strikingly vivid modern hues in which he chooses to render his contemporary landscapes." 

Southwest Art Magazine:
Although his paintings loosely reference photographs and plein-air sketches, they refuse to exist within the confines of already-prescribed images.

Rather, they stand independent of any specific place or time, the fulfilled pursuits of the artist’s visual and intellectual explorations.

Elliott wields color boldly, creating sizzling, vibrant shapes that are at once kinetic and placid, grounded in unifying illumination, and focused compositions.

He has a fascination with line structure as well, believing that “edges empower colors.” 

Private Lessons:
I have really enjoyed giving private lessons over the years. It is casual, focused and fun.

There will be a big result in your approach to making fine art and clarity on your career strategies. Give me a call and we'll discuss what works best for you.

Lodging and transportation can be provided for the Castle Rock Workshops.

What they are Saying:

"Thank you so much for the wonderful, thought compelling workshop. You rekindled my love for making art. Your enthusiasm is contagious and felt throughout the room. You set up a stimulating environment that provided continuous visual images and your generosity in sharing those photos was much appreciated. I found you to be humorous, supportive and kind. I would recommend you as an instructor to anyone who would like to take their art to the next level."

"I can't thank you enough for coming to Boulder! Thank you for your clear eye, your hard work, your beautiful color and your careful feedback. I'm now a different Painter...maybe a different person?

I loved the weekend. And I can't wait until we get to soak up your love for the work, for Wolf Kahn, for COLOR -- yet again (note that I'm greedy). You are an amazing addition to our lives."

"Thank you so much for lighting up our lives and our paintings at this past weekend’s workshop! I loved hearing about your time with Wolf Kahn, your thoughts on painting, the beautiful demo, and of course the great feedback you provided us on our own paintings.

You really reignited my desire to paint freely. Thanks also for your generosity in sharing the numerous links.

I hope to spend another weekend painting with you sometime soon."

"Thank you for the workshop! It was a great two days. You are an amazing host and instructor, (two things that don’t always work together).

You pulled something from each of us and it was wonderful to be a part of it. Thanks to the moon and back,"

"Thank you Ken. It was a wonderment! I learned so much."

"I so enjoyed meeting you and being part of the workshop. You got me on fire!!!!!"
"Wow! My weekend of private lessons was fabulous! While I was there I stepped into a whole new world that my soul was calling for.

Wonderful conversations, a beautiful time with great art everywhere and artistic success!"

"It was a fabulous workshop! I know we all had a lot of fun and really enjoyed having you here. We would love to have you come back again next year!"

"Just wanted to thank you again for a very inspiring, informative, and fun workshop. I worked LARGE today!"
"Thank you for all your inspiration!"

"Thanks SO VERY MUCH, Ken, for such a fun, informative, and energetic workshop. Your enthusiasm is contagious. What a wonderful weekend!!"

"When I signed up for a painting workshop, who knew that it would be so much more.Thank you Ken. For your kindness, generosity of spirit, and sharing your knowledge and skill of painting with us.

Thank you to everyone for making our time together a magical weekend which will be cherished. Fortunately the universe provided me with what I needed, whether I knew it or not."

"Love the class, you are a great teacher!"
"I feel so enriched and on fire to paint big and glowing colors. If you ever get a chance to study with Ken Elliott, I highly recommend him. If you need help getting to his workshops just read his book Manifesting 123"
Francine "


Copyright © 2017 Ken Elliott Fine Art, All rights reserved.