Art quotes

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

Friday, August 2, 2019

Sharing Art Inspiration at Good Venues


It is gratifying for most artists to show their work. Often at receptions for a show people ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer. The number one that is on the viewers mind … can you guess? ... What inspired me to paint that image? Was I there? Did I do it on sight? Or did I use a photo?

This is a hard question to respond to because I prefer to have seen the image in the real world or more at least in my mind’s eye. I guess a more direct answer is I like to paint from photos that I have taken at an inspiring scene. That way the sense of place is easier to capture and put on canvas. Yes, I do have a bunch of thoughtful photos taken from faraway places and many nearby.

A more recent challenge came this week when I wanted to paint from the memory of an emotional moment. In a Michigan state park we found two grave sites on a little trail. The marker explained the sad events of those who died. The story was haunting as we experienced it in the woods surrounding the marker.  But the photo was missing from my stash. I forged ahead anyway. The canvas was made ready, paint applied and the moment of our experience was on canvas titled River Spirit.

River Spirit, 24x30 acrylic on canvas
A few days later I was looking for another photo and found the missing image surprising me because the painting proved my memory was still intact. The desire for the image had captured the sense of that haunting moment.

The short answer for how do I get the inspiration for the painting is to be still on those moving occasions, soaking in what I see, and imprint the emotional image on my mind. Then I take a photo just in case.

Ephemeral Moment, 30x40 acrylic on canvas
This year has been and continues to be very satisfying with interest in my art. We recently sold a special piece at the Shiawassee Art Center member show – Ephemeral Moment which is still up at the Art Center until August 25. We also received a call from Corporate Portfolio for two of my paintings purchased by Mercantile Bank in Grand Rapids.  Today we are preparing for a show at Focus Hope, 1355 Oakman Blvd. near downtown Detroit , with a unique lunchtime reception on Wednesday August 28. The exhibit is sponsored by Michigan ArtShare . I am very excited about these validations of my work. Thank you to all who have made this possible.
        For questions about Joel Ellis Art paintings or venues, please drop a note to Joel Ellis Art and I will be happy to get my staff (Helene) to share with you.
Peace,
Joel

Monday, July 22, 2019

Healing With Art


       It has been a long a time since I have written the Joel Ellis Art Blog. I could use the usual excuses, and do I have a long list to draw from, nothing to compare to Picasso painting with WWII gun battles blazing in the streets of Paris. Amazing that he could continue to work at all.
       A few years ago I took high school seniors to Washington D C.  We went to the holocaust museum where the seniors viewed the art created  by children in concentration camps. There wasn’t a dry eye in the senior class.
Michigan Sands 13x15 oil on linen
       The arts can be very healing and help us explore our inner soul, such as the healing we so long for in the times of stress and doubt. So we pick up where we last felt at peace and continue on the path to connect with the creative inner voice. All will be fine, just carry on.
       When someone wants your work for their collection it is validation that your efforts have been noticed and it made a connection. The artist’s efforts will be a part of a new home. I would like to thank all the new owners of my art work that have made this spring so meaningful to us, and may the new art enrich your lives for years to come.
       Following are some of the paintings purchased this year from Joel Ellis Art. Thanks to all who chose to put these and other works into their original art collections. Thank you also to Shiawassee Art Center in Owosso for the beautiful place to exhibit quality art from Michigan artists.

Welcome Home  19x25 acrylic on canvas

Evening Breeze 18x24 oil on linen


Spirit of Three Fires 24x30 acrylic on canvas

Amber Eve 24x30 acrylic on canvas

Early Walk 30x40 acrylic on canvas


Monday, April 29, 2019

Art among the Sharks

Wetland Fence, oil on linen, sold at  Shiawassee Art Center

Well, the dreaded glacier out the studio window has melted leaving new grass struggling to break through the unattended oak leaves. Spring is rolling in like a magical natural Michigan event. The early spring art shows have almost completed their cycle with some welcome sales and a sense of gratitude for all the kind words and support.



When artists gather for a little huddle and comradery we somehow get to the processes we use to keep going in this creative environment. We all deal with the stress of everyday life in different ways. In very young people we can relate to their stresses because we too have been in their place. We all have developed our own techniques to keep the rough waters from deterring our creative spirit. Sometimes we can pull this off and sometimes we just have to out swim the sharks. The swim can be risky but we have to swim fearlessly to receive the lift offered by making art.

I was talking to a young artist recently who has many reasons to feel the shark nearing… we both said to each other, “a day without art is a very bad day.” So, we all should try to find our own way to make creating art or music or writing or dance or engineering so we can control the sharks and make a safe and better world.

Welcome Home, acrylic, sold at Shiawassee Art Center
Three sales this year were centered around the Smithsonian Water Project presented at the lovely Shiawassee Art Center in Owosso, Michigan. I am honored to have been a part of that project and grateful for the sales that support both  SAC and Joel Ellis art.

    - Waiting for Spring, Joel

Monday, February 25, 2019

Glacier Resides at Joel Ellis Studio

The glacier is actually 2X the size now.

       It has been a long and protracted winter with lots of snow, so much so that a real live glacier has taken up residence outside the studio window (assisted by parking lot dozer). But we must have faith in all the early signs of spring. A few days ago we saw a large V of returning geese looking for open water.



       We have been busy getting spring art shows set up.  So far we have four venues and some with a few sales. That can make the cruel long winter a little easier, but still the looming glacier is trying to advance toward the studio window. We will keep folks apprised as to the advance of ice and snow and especially  the art shows.  Joel Ellis

Welcome Home , 18x24 oil, at Shiawassee Art Center
       We are happy to announce that a work by Joel, High Winds, has been selected for the Smithsonian WaterWays Project displaying works from several artists at selected galleries. The last venue for the Smithsonian show is at the beautiful Shiawassee Art Center on the banks of the Shiawassee River in Owosso, Michigan. Three other water-themed paintings by Joel will also be displayed during this featured program February 23 to April 7.
       Additionally across the Shiawassee River water-themed works by various artists, including three from Joel Ellis Art, will also be exhibited at the newly renovated Owosso Armory to coordinate with the Shiawassee Art Center in the celebration of water images. A special walk-across-the-bridge event will be held February 28 at 4pm. This exhibit is sponsored by ArtShare Michigan.

New displays of Joel’s work can also be seen this season at
  •      notable attorney’s in Okemos, MI – Fahey Schultz Burzych and Rhodes  on S. Okemos Road
  •         Mid-Michigan McLaren Physicians Building at W. Lake Lansing Road. Other springtime venues in the planning are to be announced in upcoming notices.

Sunrise Mist, 16x20 oil on linen
We are happy to be back at the art in this new year and happy to share with you, our generous supporters. Thank you for your kind words and purchases over the years.