Sunday, August 20, 2017

Video: How to Make a Gunpowder Painting with the artist Cai Guo-Qiang





Video from the NY Times by Jason Schmidt

From sketch to explosion, a close look at the artist Cai Guo-Qiang's process.
Since 1984 he has created over 1,000 works with gunpowder.

New Work: Light Effects, oil on canvas 48 x 36 inches


Light Effects, oil on canvas 48 x 36 inches
I began this oil as a demo for the workshop that Casey Klahn and I put on earlier this year. 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.

More information about my Workshops

Monday, August 14, 2017

Video: Actor Jim Carrey: I Needed Color




In this 6 minute video, Jim Carrey he discusses much and his works are very revealing. It's always interesting to hear artist's motivations.

From the video:
"What you do in life chooses you. You can choose not to do it. You can choose to do something safer.'"


For additional information regarding Jim's art please visit: signaturegalleries.com
For all other inquiries email info@befreejc.com

Monday, August 7, 2017

Newsletter: August 2017

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

August News:

For whatever the reason, color has been a focus of expresson this month. Here is a studio photo of some of the oils currently in progress. I discussed the goings on in this blog entry.



Perhaps it's the new, red striped rug that is having an influence, or the bright August skies. All inspirations are welcome and I'll happily pass them on to you.

Note my next "
Making it Fine Art / Advanced Strategies" workshop coming up Sept 22-23 in my Castle Rock home. Details follow below.


New Works:


Red and Orange Merging
Oil on canvas, 48 x 48   $8950 framed
More about this work on my blog, For the Color



Green Dream II
Oil on panel, 48 x 48 inches   $8950 framed
More about this work on my blog, For the Color



Glittering Forest
Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches   $6750 framed
More about this work on my blog, For the Color

Currently Exhibiting:

Sunset in Orange and Pink, study
Oil on panel, 16 x 16    $1850. unframed
Arden's Gallery, Houston


Grateful Notices:


Corals Emerging
Pastel on sanded paper, 22 3/4 X 17
Collection, Mercy Hospital, Gurnee, IL
Also available as a limited edition giclee print


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.


Ken doing a demo at the Making it Fine Art Workshop in Kansas City
Denver, CO, 2017
Fri-Sat, Sept 22-23

Making it Fine Art / Advanced Strategies
2 1/2-Day Workshop with Ken Elliott
Complete info and register online
Workshop / flyer

Sat-Sun, 9am-4 pm
Sat evening after break, 4:30-6, Photoshop Tools
Open to artists in all media
$390 per person
Workshop Flyer  Contact Ken

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 and with Photoshop insights made easy.


Art Workshop with Casey Klahn and Ken in Castle Rock, CO

A dual Workshop with Ken and Casey Klahn is tanatively scheduled for October 2017.

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.

Publications:

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 Landscapescoffee 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 www.kenelliott.com

Thank you,
Ken

Contact Ken

303-995-1611
email
website

Art Blog: For the Color

Sign up for this monthly
newsletter


Image top:
Red and Orange Merging
Oil on canvas, 48 x 48
(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."
M.

"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."
B.H.

"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,"
V.

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

"I so enjoyed meeting you and being part of the workshop. You got me on fire!!!!!"
Ed
"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!"
Kate

"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!"
Donna

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

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

"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."
Linda

"Love the class, you are a great teacher!"
Betsy
"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 "
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New Work: Glittering Forest, oil on canvas, 48 x 36

New Work: Glittering Forest, oil on canvas, 48 x 36
I can assure you, it took a lot of sessions in the studio before any glittering appeared in this oil. The difficult part about painting is to keep it fresh (if that is the goal) and the more time spent on the canvas, the easier it is to loose the spontaneous look. It also increases the odds of any number of bad things happening.

This painting went through 5 or 6 big changes and once the composition came together, I declared it finished, photographed it and declared it a good day.

When I returned to the studio the next morning, it was apparent that something had been lost along the way. As it often happens, I think my just-finished oils are really good until the next day.

That's OK, because it's an opportunity to take the painting further, and I jumped right in with much brighter colors. Since I was painting over a slightly duller background, those brights began to sing! Additional colors were added to the mix and while I was putting on the last strokes, the title came to me, Glittering Forest!




Saturday, August 5, 2017

New Work: Green Dream II oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Green Dream II oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches  $8950 framed

Sometime you just want to push the color! This is a larger version of the 24 x 24 oil on panel that was created from a 'mistake.' I really liked the smaller version and it encouraged me to start a larger version and take the greens further.  More about the creation of the smaller oil here

Green Dream, oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches  $2450 framed


The larger oil is a composition where the color comes first. The light and shadows are unnaturally placed to create more contrast and intensity. Some of the brights are too bright and the shade doesn't always follow the usual contours, given the so-called light source, but it is all part of the theatre.

The entire effect is a bit surreal and intense. As I was painting this it was a bit like throwing on more logs to make a brighter fire. Surprisingly, there is a balance in this but the solution came slowly, over a number of painting sessions. At first the greens and yellows were just too bright, but I didn't want to sacrifice their power. The stand of trees was a bit chaotic as well, so other colors and shapes were added for support: light blues, lavenders, cobalts and the orange foliage.

Finally, everything came together to create the right chord, not one you hear everyday, but it is made to be played loud!



Monday, July 31, 2017

In the Studio: August 1, 2017


It is a pleasure to walk into the studio and see a number of works in progress. Working on multiple canvases greatly reduces the pressure of trying to make an individual oil come together in some perfect way. Instead of rushing and stressing, the many works benefit from an extended time of contemplation and experimentation.

Two of these works, the 3  x 5 foot on the easel and on the one on the floor are new starts, painted directly over an older idea that wasn't working. In both cases, these new starts are quite different from the underlaying image and I felt free to work right over an idea that was a struggle. Having a lot of canvases in play is liberating... everything is up for change, sometimes radically. No single canvas or section of the oil is precious.

The upper left canvas is 4 x 5 foot, a new start from last week and the oil on the right was started as a demo in my art class a couple of months ago.

These canvases proceed in a steady but non-linear way and everything is up for grabs. All is in pursuit of the best possible outcome, a compelling work of art that is successful on a number of levels. Along the way, many experiments in color, light, contrasts, etc are tried out. It appears that a lot of mistakes are being made and sometimes that is the case, but this is really an efficient way to take these works into new and unpredictable territory.

There is always intrigue in the studio with the paintings communicating their present needs and dreams of greater things. Strategies will be pursued and because this process welcomes surprises, thrills will often result.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Grateful Notices: Winters Morning II, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Winters Morning II, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches
Private collection

This oil was completed last fall and seeing the photo here takes me back to viewing it on the easel again. ... so many moves and marks to make it come to life.

Thank you Saks Galleries, Denver, CO and to the collector that hung it over the fireplace.

Please review my comments about this oil in an earlier blog post.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

New Work: Red and Orange Merging, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Red and Orange Merging, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

First off, thank you Lynn for your sunset photo.

This finished oil is a cropped-down and brighter version than the source photo. My intent was to create a large sunset oil without too many of the cliche light effects. This work is almost pure composition and color. 

I got off to a good start with this one and on the second session a number of different blues, reds and oranges went into clouds. Then I did the same with the land below by adding a variety of unusual colors. The composition was still in place but now a considerable amount of unnatural colors will have to be dealt with. During this second session it became apparent that the big cloud form was going to need a lot of work to keep it interesting in every direction, all 3 by 4 feet of it, presenting a new challenge to make it happen.

During the second session I purposely departed from the blacked-out land area and the big "God light' vertical streams in the photo. Instead I painted in an abstracted scrub landscape at the bottom and opted out of the upward light streams, the "God light" as a compositional element. Because the reds and oranges are prominent in this work, I chose a glowing, green field with other colors for green support. Every element in this oil is there to enhance the radiance of the clouds.

The last painting session was primarily two things. First to make the cloud form interesting as it moves horizontally and upward and to do the same for the field as it moves left to right. Then it was about pushing the oil to a more interesting place and perhaps to a finish.

Rather than just adding more bright color, I put in a number of different grey tones because they have the effect of adding complexity as well as making adjacent colors appear brighter. That turned out to be a really good move.

More interest at the edges were added and last, virtually every color on the canvas was given another brighter layer of a similar color, creating glowing effects throughout the scene.



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New Work: Marsh Tones, oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

Marsh Tones, oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches

First off, I want to thank Ed Chesnovitch for his great photo of this marsh. Living in Colorado doesn't allow for much marsh scenery, so I am grateful to Ed and the composition he captured.

Ed Chesnovitch, pastel
Ed is a very accomplished Cape Cod artist and I would encourage you to visit his website and sign up for his newsletter.  He is also represented by the Left Bank Gallery in Wellfleet, MA.



2014 Workshop at the North River Art Society

Workshop:

I will be teaching a 2 1/2-Day Making it Fine Art / Advanced Strategies nearby in Marshfield, MA August 26-27, 2017. It is sponsored by the North River Art Society.
Register by contacting Peggy Bruno 781-837-8091 or email northriverarts@gmail.com 

Open to artists in all media.


About the oil Marsh Tones:

At the beginning of this oil I wanted to use colors I haven't used before and to keep everything fresh. This scene is very atmospheric with a haze everywhere that is also reflected in the water. There is a sun effect in the photo, but early on I decided to play that down.

It was important for me to begin with a variety of colors, not knowing exactly how they would come together. There isn't a lot of visual information here, so the plan was to use color as a key interest. The land and tree masses are essentially three bands of color, so it felt essential to add more chroma in unexpected ways.

As the painting developed it became apparent that the contrasts and clarity in the foreground would be important to this work and as the scene receded, just enough detail was maintained to carry the viewer's interest back to the trees and sky. Since this is a horizontal landscape, care was taken to simultaneously keep it interesting across the entire left to right space as well. 

There is much to see here but without high detail and a glow suffuses everything, bringing the oil to life. To make a work with this amount of subtlety is a bit like a minimalist poem with the point clearly made. It is so easy to overwork something like this.

Turns out, this oil will be a prelude for a much larger one beginning this week. I'm really looking forward to revisiting this scene.