Friday, February 28, 2020

Grateful Notices: Turning Autumn, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Turning Autumn
Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches, private collection
Exhibited:   Gallery 89, Steamboat Springs, CO

My sincere thanks to the collector that purchased this oil.

This painting works on numerous levels: the light running in from the right, delicate foliage helping to create depth, the verticals of the tree tops, and the deep blues happily contrasting with the yellow foreground.

That's a lot happening in this canvas, but the 4 foot square format provides plenty of creative room and there is plenty to see. The eye travels from the bright foreground all the way up and back to those atmospheric aquas at the very top. It's a very satisfying slice of the forest.

New Work: Forest Placido, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches

Forest Placido
oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches
Saks Galleries, Denver, CO   $6750 framed
As this painting progressed, more atmosphere seemed to circulate in this forest scene. I really didn't notice right away because I was more focused on working out a variety of aquas and blues. The color changes not only added more interest - more to see, but it also created the effect of diffused light coming in from the side and the top.

This is a complicated work and it's interesting that all the while, I was striving for more simplicity! 
For this oil, I began with a lot more detail and then began subtracting between the tree trunks by adding those background colors. 

The entire color palette is a bit subdued with very few spots of full-strength color. There is so much of the 'back and forth' to create this - brush to paint, paint to canvas and repeat, look, brush to paint again. It's a very calming routine despite having a lot of problems to solve along the way. 

As it often happens, this painting went through a lot of changes. In fact, it's painted over the top of a previous oil with a Lot of Problems. It felt really good to cover it up.

In the last painting session, the oil was not quite right so I used purple-blues to paint over most of the existing bright green grass at the bottom. It changed the feel of the entire oil, creating a calming, unifying effect, leading to the Italian title, Placido. In classical music, it is an instruction to play the passage in a peaceful, calming way.

I miss working on it already, but it's back to the studio tomorrow where more experiences await.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Denver Metro, June 6-7: Making it Fine Art Workshop: Taking it to the Next Level

Workshop 2020:  Denver Metro

Ken Elliott 2-day Making it Fine Art Workshop: Taking it to the Next Level

Highlands Ranch, CO (Denver metro)
Sat-Sun June 6-7

$390 per person.
Limited to 6 artists  2 spaces left
Workshop flyer

Complete info and Pay Pal registration on the Workshops page

Open to artists in all media. This is a workshop for artists wanting to make advancements in their techniques and strategies.

Ken will have ample time to give very focused attention to individuals and offer a number of provoking ideas to the group and he will do demos in oil.

You will be given access to Ken's personal photo file of over 1500 inspiring images by various artists.

These workshops typically sell out, so sign up soon!

Private lessons by appointment.

Just After the Sun Has Set
Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Hidden Sunset
oil on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

Trees in Half Shade
oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Ken Elliott Private Lessons:
I have really enjoyed giving private lessons over the years as well. It is casual, focused and fun. There will be a big result. Give me a call and we'll discuss what works best for you. Transportation and accommodations are included for out of town guests in Ken's home / studio. Please inquire by email or 303-995-1611

A private lesson recommendation:
"Ken Elliott is an excellent host and a very accommodating art instructor who helped me clarify my goals and improve my skills. He offered productive review, practical methods and excellent business advice. I benefitted tremendously from our class and feel confident the quality of my work has moved to another level. Thank you Ken."
Rona Lynn Fitzpatrick

Yellow with Red Insisting
oil on canvas 30 X 40
From my Ken's Alaska Workshop demonstration

Ken Elliott Making it Fine Art Workshops
There are always new workshops being planned. If you would like for me to do a workshop in your area, please contact me to make arrangements. View the current workshop schedule on the website

In the Workshops, we will be discussing strategies for making fine art and taking your art to the next level. Please contact me if you want me to teach a workshop in your area.

Ken comes from a background of working in the art gallery and ancillary art businesses for over 40 years. As an artist for 25 of those years, he can speak to the business and creative aspects of being a professional artist.

From a Boulder, CO Workshop attendee:
"Just a quick note to let you know how much I learned, enjoyed and benefited from your art workshop at Jacque Michele’s studio Jan. 16-17. It was a groundbreaking eye opener for me in so many respects. At the end of the two days I felt like you had given me the tools to truly free up my art work and go wild with color and strokes. A very liberating experience indeed. It was such a pleasure to meet you and study under you. Hope we will be seeing more of you in Boulder."

Wood at the Lake
Pastel on sanded paper, 15 1/2 x 14 inches
From my workshop with the Pastel Society of Colorado

Ken studied with Wolf Kahn for a month at the Santa Fe Art Institute Master Class program. He came away with enough information for a lifetime.  For decades he has been associated with a number of wonderful and successful artists.  As a former gallery dealer, he has a great deal of experience and knowledge about past and present artists and their reasons for success.  Having grown up in the arts with framing, gallery management and as an artist, he has much to offer to the hobbyist and professional artist.

Teaching Experience: 
Madden Museum art class with Casey Klahn, Denver, CO
North River Arts Society, Marshfield, MA
Beatrice Art Guild, NE
Anchorage Art Guild, AK
Colorado Springs Art Guild, CO
Colorado Pastel Society, CO
Pikes Peak Pastel Society, CO

In the Workshops:
Ken will discuss strategies for creating better artworks with a variety of common and creative tools. The workshop will focus the strategies for making better paintings, going to new places in your work and how to make fine art. Much attention will be given to improving your own artworks and career.

Ken will demonstrate painting using oil and pastel. He will discuss the idea of making strong starts and keeping the way open for more interesting and dramatic finishes.

Attendees are invited to bring whatever they wish to paint with and work on. You may bring works or visuals to start, works in progress, and finished works to evaluate.  There will be a lot of conversation about the mental aspects of making good art by design and experiment.  The mental aspect is the quickest way to get the breakthroughs to the next big success in your art.

 Ken will bring some finished works to share with the group.

There will be serious discussions, laughs, and your questions.   We will all come away with new tools to take your art to the next level.

More Comments:

"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. Your generosity in sharing your own 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."

"Yours was exactly the kind of workshop I had hoped it would be to give me the focus I needed. I can't thank you enough for coming all this way for such a small group...but I think you got the students who needed you the most!

"The Workshop was amazing. It made me get out of my way in terms of a different painting method and expanded my vision. Also, the friends I made from that weekend are wonderful. My eyes were opened and I can't go backward from that."

"Thank you for sharing all your stories. I think you have a great way of helping people grasp and put into practice the principles of manifesting. Cheers!"
Anita Mosher  website

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

"Thank you for our 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."

"So, when my friend, Ken Elliott, told me he was co-teaching a workshop on color with Casey Klahn, I immediately said sign me up! Ken's work is simplified impressionist landscape with an emphasis on bold color like reds and yellows. Casey's work is influenced by the cloudy days of the northwestern part of the United States, and his paintings are simplified, abstracted landscapes. Casey uses subdued colors like blues and purples. Both artists' style and color sense are so dramatically different than mine that I knew I would be challenged by this workshop. And indeed I was! I have to smile when I see the work I produced in this workshop. It's so unlike my usual work."
Lee McVey website

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!"

"Thank you so much for including me in the wonderful weekend workshop at the Castle Rock Artist "Retreat" :D I found all of you to be a delight and am so happy to meet each of you! Ken, you are a wonderful teacher & inspiring person!! The one day with you in your B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L home & "artist sanctuary" was "exactly" what I needed on so many levels !!! Thank you for your generosity, great color sense, sharing of your artful knowledge & supply resources. I came away with a renewed art spirit and also w/ some new artistic ideas for applying paint to the canvas! Very inspiring indeed!
Jeannie Paty website

"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. And 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."

"Your workshop changed my whole outlook on what I might be able to do with my art career and gave me the confidence to really go for it. It was also huge from a creative standpoint, helping me focus on color and having that be the lead/primary solution to my paintings as a colorist and abstract artist - but also from the manifesting angle it was my introduction to the whole idea and what set me on my course as a professional artist."
Kirsten McGannon website

"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!"

"Hey, I DEFINITELY recommend this! SIGN UP for Ken's class! Take your art further than it's ever been!"

"You are a wonderful, vibrant instructor!"

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

"You are so gracious. Thank you so much for the wonderful workshop and ALL that you shared. It was a great weekend."

"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"

"Great class Ken! Thank you for all the good tips and inspiration. So glad you came to Houston."

A good time was had by all! Thank you!
Barbara, Workshop organizer and attendee

"Thank you Ken for a awesome workshop, picked up some new tools to advance forward. Looking forward to using them tools. I had a great time meeting everyone and working together."

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.