Monday, March 19, 2018

Exhibition: Edgar Degas / About the Line

Some thoughts from the Degas show...
The Denver Art Museum is the only venue for this show and it is certainly worth the trip.

Edgar Degas, Passion for Perfection
Through May 20, 2018

While I was taking in this great exhibit, I began to notice the strength of Degas' lines and his use of darks to create more interesting works. He pushes those dark values to great effect. 

A great artist like Degas is notable for many things and it is typically the color that receives all the  attention. These works have a lot of presence when viewed in person and part of that success is his use of accenting lines and darker notes.

Degas' work has so many great qualities, but for now, here is a selection of works from the exhibit along that theme.

Also note that many of these works were completed over a span of years. Even for the great Degas, he didn't create the best possible artwork straight through every time.

Female Nude Drying Her Hair
Charcoal on tracing paper, 1903 

Four Ballet Dancers
Pastel  1885-90 

Nude Standing Beside a Chair
Charcoal with touches of blue on tracing paper  1990

Standing Woman Fastening Her Corset,
Seen From the Front
Oil  1883

Degas' Studio replicated

The Conversation
Oil  1885-95

The Milliners
Oil  1898

Race Horses at Longchamp
Oil 1871-74

Race Horses at Longchamp  (close up)
Oil 1871-74

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Exhibit: PACE Center, Hand-Pulled: Mark Lunning's Open Press

It's a great honor to be in this show with other remarkable artists. I have 5 monotypes in the exhibit and they look great on the PACE Center steel walls.

Perhaps you can take a look and tour the incredible public space for the arts that has been created in Parker, CO.

Here are the details:

Hand-Pulled: Mark Lunning's Open Press
Artist's reception, Friday March 2, 6pm
PACE Center, Parker, CO
20000 Pikes Peak Ave. Parker, CO 80138 map
Through April 30

A group show highlighting a selection of print makers who have worked with Master Printer and artist Mark Lunning at Open Press:
Patricia Branstead, Dale Chisman, Brian Comber, Patti Cramer, Joellyn Duesberry, Ken Elliott, Joe Higgins, Homare Ikeda, Viviane LeCoutois, Chuck McCoy, Janice McCullaugh, Geoffrey Ridge, and Daniel Teitelbaum. Also featuring recent works by Mark Lunning.

The exhibit was curated by Rose Fredrick, Denver.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Video: Green Dream, oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches

Green Dream, oil on panel, 24 x 24   $2150 unframed
Madelyn Jordan Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY
More about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color

In this video Ken explains what is behind his 24 x 24 inch oil on panel, Green Dream and the small details that brought it to life.

Video: 2 minutes

Video: At the Ponds Edge, Emerging Spring, oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches

At the Ponds Edge, Emerging Spring, oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches

Ken describes how the 4' x 5' oil, At the Ponds Edge, Emerging Spring evolved. This work took about a year to make as it went through a number of changes.

Video: 2 minutes

New Works at the Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

These five oils just arrived at the Sorelle Gallery in New Canaan, CT.

I want to thank everyone at the gallery for their enthusiasm and the many kindness they have showed me as a new artist there. Thank you!

....hope you will take the time to tour this remarkable gallery online.

Oil on canvas, 36 X 48 inches     $6950 framed
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Video: Blue Skyscape, oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches

Blue Skyscape, oil on canvas, 36 x 60 inches  $7500 framed
Exhibiting: Madelyn Jordan Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY

In this video Ken describes what makes this predominately blue sunset a success without the usual setting sun effects and offers a strategy to keep this large painting compelling in all directions.  2 minutes

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

New Work: Light Effects reworked. Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches

Version II / Light Effects, oil on canvas 48 x 36 inches  $6950 framed

Version I / Light Effects, oil on canvas 48 x 36 inches  from 2017
February 2018:
Reworking a painting by using a a couple of strategies to create improvements.
Here I took a perfectly good oil and reworked it to create a more subtle and elegant effect.

Video:  Ken describes how he transformed an existing oil into a better one by reducing the number of elements in the painting.  4 minutes
Written in August 2017:
I began this oil (Version I) as a demo for the workshop that Casey Klahn and I put on in 2017. The dark trees in the upper left are just as they were painted in that day. For the demonstration, I wanted to offer the example of a very direct and strong start.

The background was also laid in with strong colors but as the painting progressed over the last few months, what remained was the strong lighting at the top as the the strong colors in the background were toned down, causing them to recede.

All of these moves were done to improve the painting rather than create a more realistic scene. This is what makes painting enjoyable for me - trying to get more out of the artwork with a variety of strategies.

During the last painting session today the lighter areas began to take the lead. I made the sky brighter and insured that the glow travelled down into the background. Once more light and shadow variations were added to the grasses below, the entire painting fell into place. After a lot of patient trials, this forest came to life with color, atmosphere and in a somewhat abstract way.

I really like those original dark trees with their high contrast and the motion they give to this work.

Forward to Feb 2018:
After seeing the painting in the studio for a time, I decided that I wanted the oil to have more simplicity and a softer light. Trees were eliminated and the light is more subtle throughout the painting. Some of the colors were grayed down a bit and it actually enhanced the effect of the glow. It was a surprising outcome but it was just the effect I was looking for. Greys are very important at times!

As the painting progressed, a path began to form. It is nice to have it there, pointing the way to more good things to come.

The original dark trees in the upper left remain from that good start at the workshop that day and after removing unnecessary trees, the composition is simplified and has more sophistication.

More information about my Workshops