Friday, February 7, 2020

Grateful Notices: At the Pond's Edge, Emerging Spring, oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches

At the Pond's Edge, Emerging Spring
Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 Private collection
Exhibited: Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

I'm drawn to the intersections of sky, land and water and particularly how the trees come into contact with each of those elements. An amazing amount of hours that went into the making of this one. There is a great deal of texture as a result of successive ideas, starts and stops appearing as subsequent 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 the painting into spring.

This painting is evidence of considerable sessions in the studio with innumerable color experiments and before you know it, a fall painting 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.

My thanks to the collector that took this home.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Grateful Notices: Blue and Green Progressions, pastel on sanded paper, 22 5/8 X 30 3/4 inches

Blue and Green Progressions
 Pastel on sanded paper, 22 5/8 X 30 3/4 inches
    Sold, private collection
Forests are extremely complex settings for making artworks. For this pastel, I opted to use a sparse group of trees in the foreground and back it with a virtual wall of color. It's a setting I often use and the possibilities in this wood are infinite.

The list of creative possibilities is large and there are options within each one: light, color, composition, contrast and more. It was a pleasure to explore them all, layering one idea over another, moving forward, backing up, and watching it all come together, bit by bit. These were not the colors I had originally intended, but the forest had it's own ideas.

My time in this wood was a pleasurable one.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

New Work: Blue Wish, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Ken Elliott Blue Wish oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches  $5100 framed

This is truly an oil that painted itself. Last week I was out in a Colorado park with friends and I got a number of useful photos. This image is a pure fantasy, a tiny fragment from a larger photo of the sun setting over the ridge that day.

There isn't a single color or shape that is native to the photo and just as well. Once I began laying out the basic design, I kept to 2-3 blues and purples. Next, the faint, setting sun had to go in and that's when things really got interesting. 

Up to that point, this was a monochromatic winter scene but when the warmer tones of the sun appeared, it prompted the use of pinks, rust and grey-green. Everything began to fall into place from there. It was very tempting to continue to 'polish' it up a bit, but I was very happy with the rougher look and open brushwork.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

New work: Sunset Chroma, Purple and Yellow, oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches

Sunset Chroma, Purple and Yellow  Oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches  $2450 framed

There are so many sunsets to see and paint. Lately, I've been thinking about applying a soft, pastel-like palette to a good cloud composition and I finally made one happen. So much of this oil came about it a non-lineal way and that's a bonus.

Rather than trying to represent a scene accurately, different color combinations were being tried out. During that discovery process, the moment the aquas and the pale greens combined above the clouds, the oil immediately became much more interesting. I didn't plan on it - I had some aqua setting out from a previous painting session and I gave it a go. A lot of white was added - I figured too much, but it worked out beautifully and led me to use the other pale colors that followed.  

The mauve cloud mass in the center anchors the piece and provides 'shade' and a way to transition to the darker foreground. The entire scene is nicely lit but not too much. After all of the back and forth and sorting through endless options, a soft sunset emerged. 

I'm enjoying this view!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Grateful Notices: Light in the Forest, oil on canvas 40 x 30 inches

Light in the Forest, oil on canvas 40 x 30 inches
Private collection
Exhibited:  Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

My sincere thanks to the artist that purchased this work for her collection and  Dominique Boisjoli for putting it all together!

About this oil:
I went through a couple of permutations with this oil, including a discarded version. Starting on a new canvas the second time, the focus became the color red with an eye toward simplicity.

This composition is essentially 3 bands of color with a lot of moves to keep things interesting. About a third of the way into the creation of this oil, the yellows in the center began to take on a life of their own. It would be simple and perhaps even more dramatic to increase the amount of yellow in the background, but the painting seems to project something mysterious with the unnatural, yellow glow emerging from the forest. 

The leaf colors are saturated, unusual hues intentionally placed to add a random pattern and to further accelerate the effect of the reds.

The painting has a nice presence and it contains an interesting mystery unsolved.

Monday, December 30, 2019

New Work: Just After the Sun Has Set, oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches

Just After the Sun Has Set
Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches $5100 framed
Saks Galleries, Denver

This is a scene from Castle Rock, CO near where I lived until recently. There were so many good sunsets looking west and I painted a good number of them. For this oil, the focus was split between the sky and land forms below.

Rather than focusing all of the color in the sky, I saturated the bottom half of the painting with the purples, reds, mauves and greens. The dark trees on the right set up a soft contrast as well as a border between the foreground and all that happens beyond,

It has a soft richness that I like. The water on the left was added last to create even more light effects, an improvement over the actual highway there.

Grateful Notices: Red Wall at the Lake Pastel on paper, 17 5/8 x 23 3/8 inches

Red Wall at the Lake
Pastel on paper, 17 5/8 x 23 3/8  Sold, private collection
Exhibited,: Madelyn Jordan Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY
Also available as a limited edition giclee print

The trees are an excuse to make a red pattern and the pattern is a device for the yellow trees and blues of the lake to to emerge from the background. All the colors and compositional elements work together toward a common goal - to make the reds as bright as possible.

The plan was a simple one, to set up the depth like screens in a stage play and to have horizontal bands of colors dancing across. It was a straightforward enough idea but it took hundreds of pastel strokes to make it come to life. I had a lot of joy in the creation of it and hopefully it comes through in the work.

My thanks to the collector and Madelyn Jordan Fine Art!