Sunday, August 11, 2019

Grateful Notices: Water, Land and Sky in Flow Oil on canvas, 36 X 60

Water, Land and Sky in Flow
Oil on canvas, 36 X 60   Private collection, CT
Exhibited: Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

The way light plays on the surface of lakes is a constant fascination to me. With this oil the lake is a factor but it is equally weighted with the bright, yellow trees in the distance.

This is likely the 5th or so version of this arrangement. As the painting progressed through the different trials, more glowing colors emerged and the overall look of the oil continued to get brighter. 

Each trial yielded a completed painting but after a few days of viewing what I had, those brighter shapes called out for more to be done. In this final version, there is movement everywhere, carried along by the changes in colors and in the way that the mass of the trees and cloud bank are surrounded by the atmosphere in the upper sky its reflection on the lakes surface. 

As it turns out, the painting titled itself. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

New Works: Soft Summer Light and Summer Song, oils on panel 30 x 30 inches

Oil on canvas, 30 X 30 inches $3700 unframed
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

Oil on canvas, 30 X 30 inches $3700 unframed
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

Summers produce an abundance of green and considerably less color options than a colorful fall provides. The challenge set forth with these two oils was that they would have summer in the title and that they would have to be compelling works, despite the solid green summer fields and trees.

So, what’s the plan? 

When I was a newly-minted painter, I would use the few greens I had purchased and invariably, my works would be too green, too much the same and not very attractive. Greens are a trap for many landscape painters including myself back then, so to be a better painter, other strategies had to be developed as quickly as possible.

In this oil, a variety of greens in muted tones are put into play. The landscape can be awash in green but the overall effect is subdued. The colors are a bit more muted and the overall effect is softer and it allows the other interesting colors to share the space.

Summer just got a bit more interesting.

Friday, July 26, 2019

New Work: Brilliant Forest, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Brilliant Forest,  oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches    $6650 framed
Gallery 89, Steamboat Springs, CO

Working on this canvas was like being in a candy store. There is a lot of color and form packed into this scene, like a big bowl of bright candy wrappers bursting with color and concealing the bright flavors hidden inside.

The bright trees in the back intensify the composition and care was taken to make the darks interesting as well. The shadows are also an important design element and their presence became a happy excuse for the application of even more color at the bottom of the canvas.

It was very satisfying to finish this oil since it was started about 4 years earlier. There were numerous changes and improvements along the way, and each alteration moved the work closer to the goal of creating this expressive forest.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Grateful Notices: Winter's Morning II, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Winter's Morning II, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
Exhibited, Renjeau Gallery Natick, MA Private collection

This was a very enjoyable endeavor. The oil is very freshly done, starting with two sessions of turp-thinnned paint. 4 feet square is a lot of area to cover, so using the thinned oils in the first two painting sessions allowed me to completely fill in the canvas and put the composition in a good place for a finish. 

In this version I've added more light, greener foliage and detail.

Being an artist is a real privilege and the joy flowed into this work.

New Work: Summer by the Shore, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Summer by the Shore, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT

Patterns are intriguing and helpful when painting flat landscapes. I was first attracted to the shape of the summer clouds but once that red-purple band was painted in, the rest of the oil became a playground of pooling water, strips on land and vegetation.

Everything merged together, unifying the painting and creating interesting things to see in every part. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

New Work: Light Beyond, pastel 18 1/2 x 22 3/8 inches

Light Beyond
Pastel on sanded paper,  18 1/2 x 22 3/8 inches
This started as a pastel demonstration a number of years ago. I came across it when I was clearing things out of my studio and pulled it out to work on.

I still remember being a bit stumped at the time of the workshop, working carefully while talking to the class. Once I saw it again, the solutions poured out in rapid order.

For the most part, the moves were about boldness, adding complexity and insuring that every part of the pastel has its own interest while adding to the whole. The piece surprises me with the iridescent blues and how they move. As I added blues, it was if they were in a conversation with each other, instructing me to push more and bring more blue to the party.

Care was taken to preserve the dark masses at the top to better frame the light play in the back of the scene. I love pastels...

Friday, July 5, 2019

New Work: In the Colorful Forest, oil on canvas, 36 x 72 inches

In the Colorful Forest
Oil on canvas, 36 x 72 inches   $9950 framed
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

Creating this oil was pure joy. It is all about patterns and color and the combinations are endless. A lot of moves were made here. The forest was much less populated in the earlier versions and the colors more subdued.

As I added more trees to improve the composition, the painting called out for more color. Additional density was added to the background leaves along with a bit of aqua to the upper right.

Once the aqua was in place, it made the rest of the oil seem a bit duller, a happy problem that was solved with brighter color and more of them. Every color was taken higher and as they were added,  the forest came alive.

Who would think that a bit of aqua would require changes across the entire 6 foot expanse? That is how I see things and it is a delight to be an artist.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Grateful Notices: Summer Haze, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Summer Haze oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches
Private collection, MAExhibited: Saks Galleries, Denver

My grateful thanks to the Massachusetts collector and everyone at Saks Galleries, Denver for making this acquisition possible!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Grateful Notices:Yellows Across the Lake oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Yellows Across the Lake  oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches
Private collection, Seattle
Many thanks to the person that purchased this oil. 

I put the pressure on myself by filming myself painting it. As I mentioned in the video, this idea sprang from a teeny pastel sketch I did years before. I remember staying up very late at night with that pastel, struggling very hard with it. In desperation, I scratched it all out with a razor blade and quickly reconstructed it. Out of the ashes came a very nice pastel. 

Years later, it became this oil that that is now hanging in a private collection, a great honor.

Narrating as he paints, Ken describes his methods as the painting develops.

Monday, June 17, 2019

New Work: Light in the Forest, oil on canvas 40 x 30 inches

Light in the Forest, oil on canvas 40 x 30 inches
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM    $6400 framed

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, June 10, 2019

New Work: Cloud Layers Oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches

Cloud Layers, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches
$9500 framed Saks Galleries, Denver

Sunsets create fascinating opportunities for artists and I never tire of them. I use them to play out different color combinations and shapes without the worry of trying to represent a realistic scene.

This is a 'soft' sunset, purposely created without the usual bright contrast to indicate the sun's position. As the painting developed, a glow started to appear in some of the blue clouds along the bottom right quarter of the oil and it influenced the rest of the painting. 

The other clouds and the landscape strip along the bottom are all modulated back, using just enough contrast to hold the scene. The overarching idea here is to create a large expanse of land and sky, full of patterns, without any of them being dominant. 

It's bordering on the abstract, a serene view into the distance,

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Video: Ken Elliott and Casey Kahn Teaching

This is a casual video with visual bits and phrases captured from our class. The video is not a tutorial, just a bit of fun. However, some good information is scattered in.

There are quotes from Picasso, Wolf Kahn and Jean Cocteau.

Many thanks for the artist and videographer, Natalie Raffield for putting this together.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

New Work: Summer Sunset, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Summer Sunset, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

The plan was to paint this sunset in an uncommon way, forget the realist aspects and use colors as I wished. It seemed easy enough and the painting did come together quickly, but I wasn't quite satisfied after I had declared it finished.

As it turned out, this oil was 'finished' two more times. I was a bit too timid the second time, so lesson learned, the third attempt began with colors pushed further and additional attention given to the edges everywhere. Last, I added more subtleties to the dark foreground and that small amount of tweaking created a surprising amount of depth.

Finally, the painting hit the mark with the high-contrasts at the bottom giving way to the paler atmosphere at the top. The effect sets up the horizontal bands with their various colors almost sings at times.

Monday, May 20, 2019

May Newsletter: New Exhibits, New Works

Ken Elliott's Fine Art Newsletter May, 2019
View this email in your browser

May News:

I am happy to announce that I will be included in two shows this summer and grateful for new gallery representation in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. All of this new activity is an incentive to create new works and try out new ideas in the process, so back to the studio!

Also, my thanks to the many that have collected and placed my works this year and for all the artists that have invited me to work with them in workshops and private sessions. It is an honor and a delightful challenge.

Following below are some new oils and other works presently exhibiting. All available works are fully listed on my website.

Saks Galleries, Denver
Group Show, Saturday, June 15, 11am- 5pm

Friday, August 16
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe
Opening reception, 4-7pm with refreshments
Through Aug 31

New Representation:
Gallery 89, Steamboat Springs, CO

New works:

Summer Sunset
Oil on canvas, 36 X 36 inches   $5100 framed
More about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color

Sun on Snow I
Oil on panel, 24 x 24   $2450  framed
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
More about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color

In the Galleries:

Turning Autumn
Oil on canvas, 48 X 48   $8950 framed
Gallery 89, Steamboat Springs, CO

Saccade XII
Oil on canvas, 48 x 60   $10950 framed
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
More about this on Ken's blog, For the Color

Blue Skyscape
Oil on canvas, 36 x 60   $8450 framed
Madelyn Jordan Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY
Video: Ken discusses this making of this oil

Foothill Glow
Oil on canvas, 40 x 40   $6650. framed
Madelyn Jordan Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY

Grateful Notices:

Bright Conversation
Oil on panel, 24 x 24  Private collection
Exhibited: Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT
More about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color

Workshops / Private Sessions /Studio Visits:

Here's a video about what happens in the Group and Private Workshops

Contact Ken to arrange a studio visit or Workshop. It is always a pleasure to meet you.

Take your work to new heights. These workshops and private sessions will focus on strategies for making better paintings, colorist tools, 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. all workshop info


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,
Copyright © 2019 Ken Elliott, All rights reserved.
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Image top, cropped:
Summer Sunset
Oil on canvas, 36 X 36 inches     $5100 framed
More about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color
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 and studio visits:
I have really enjoyed giving private lessons individually or with groups over the years. It is casual, focused and fun. It is always a pleasure welcoming collectors into my studio, please email me a call to arrange a time.

The workshops are very stimulating and you will see a big result in your approach to making fine art and clarity on your career strategies. Let's discuss what works best for you.

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

What they are saying:

"I had a clue what might be in store for my friends, but it went WAY beyond. You have a real gift. What a FANTASTIC couple of days!!!’


"Your painting demonstrations and the information you gave us  was invaluable- no wonder your paintings are so moving. I so enjoyed meeting you. Thank you for coming to Virginia."   Sally

"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"