Art quotes

"For the last 20 year period I've been working with ideas conceived as a child." -Red Grooms

Monday, August 1, 2016

Dog Days on Hot Michigan Dunes

       We are in the dog days of summer, twenty days before and twenty days after cirrus the Dog Star rises at the same time as the sun. Now that we got 
Sylvie's Beach 24x36
Google search out of the way let’s just say it is hot. We tried a trip to Lake Michigan for a sand dune refresher but the sand and sun was way too hot even with a breeze. After a few hours of roasting in the sun and being dusted with sand we got the dune photos we needed. Looking back to the beauty of The Lake as we were leaving, even in the heat, is a good day.
        The usual question viewers of my paintings often ask is do I paint out in nature. From the above summer heat experience I can reflect on Van Gogh, dune, sand, bugs, and twig scratches all inflecting damage on his fresh paintings and from the safety of my studio, I can say with a firsthand experience, I prefer the studio.

But just go and paint out-of-doors on the spot itself! Then all kinds of things happen; for instance, I had to wipe off at least a hundred or more flies from the four paints you will receive, not counting the dust and sand, not counting that when one carries them across the heath and through the hedges for
Blush 20x24
several hours, some thorns will scratch them, etc. Not counting that when one arrives on the heath after some hours’ walk in this weather, one is tired and exhausted from the heat. Not counting that the figures do not stand still like professional models, and that the effects one wants to catch change with the progressing day.
    W.H. Auden’s  VanGogh  A self-portrait

        Using photos that I captured puts me back in the environment to be able to convey the moment and the experience has deeper importance.  For all the artists that paint out of doors, or plein air, I can only offer my congratulations for your efforts in overcoming the challenges nature may have hurled your way.  
        And for the dog days of summer, well let’s remember Winter and try to carry on.
        As you enjoy travels in these summer days please consider a stop to enjoy art – the creations from the artists’ soul. There are two shows for Joel F. Ellis art this summer: In mid-Michigan, downtown Lansing, I have over a dozen paintings at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, 300 S. Washington, Lansing, Michigan. And wouldn’t you know it, these are all expressions of dunes. I love dunes.
Spring Marsh Song  36x36
       The second show goes up this Sunday, August 7, at Cycling Salamander fine arts gallery on US 31 just seven miles south of Charlevoix Michigan. The gallery owner asked for more abstract paintings and some large ones. What a good opportunity to share these colorful expressions. We hope you will get a chance to visit these exhibits through September. All the work is original, of course.

Enjoy your art this summer, 
Nautilus  24x24 

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