Art quotes

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Broad Art Museum by Zaha Hadid: Cause for Artists' Discussion

A gathering of artists, in East Lansing, were finishing their breakfast when the art topic became heated. The big talk was about the new Broad Art Museum on the campus of Michigan State University by the world renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Most respected artists at the table thought the building too radical while a few brave souls thought the new Broad will be great for East Lansing and Mid Michigan, bringing visitors from around the country and the world.

I have to confess I have been in the cautious group. The architectural design is radically diverse from the general university style. Long metal lines crossing at sharp angles seem to invite a variety of “looks like” comments: looks like a spaceship landing, looks like a truck wreck, looks like . . . you get the idea.  As the unusual shapes have come together over the last several months, however, the futuristic design began to make a statement about being brave and looking to the future. After a virtual tour of the inside of the building where art is displayed, the concept has made a positive impression on me.  See for yourself: Check the site regularly for updates on the project and shows happening now through the Broad Without Walls program.

Michigan State University campus will become a destination for the seekers of beauty in the arts thanks to the Broad Art Museum. The opening of the museum should be a grand affair in the fall of 2012.

For most recent views of Joel Ellis Art, please take a look at my website:  Thanks.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Michigan Dunes, A Great Painting Subject

People sometimes ask me why dunes are often the subject of many of my paintings. There is a long family history going back, way back to family trips to Lake Michigan for a long day at the beach. We packed picnics, fishing poles and blankets and left before dawn, our destination: Silver Beach in Saint Joseph, Michigan. The once thriving amusement park was a fine family getaway but for me the first sight of the truly great lake was breath taking. The sand, so much sand, and how it the met the pure blue water was imprinted on me forever.

                                                  Spring Dune  13 x 17 oil on linen (Joel F Ellis)
Over the years the hallowed visits still mean peace, serenity and a magical transformation from the day-to-day grind of the everyday life. So… this magical spot is what I try to share with the viewer of the dune paintings, sharing my many journeys through the noonday heat or the sunset breezes rustling through the grasses.

Some dune visits may be represented down to each blade of grass while others may convey the swaying wave of green dancing over the floor of sand as water and sky meet to create these magical moments. Every trip to Ludington State Park or sites farther north on Michigan’s third coast bring a dune surprise – little lakes, fences exposed then gone, historic ship pilings, small animals alive and some going back to the earth as my young daughter used to say about a dead creature. We are truly grateful to have the amazing the Great Lakes as our playground. Joel(Spring Rain, 18x24, oil on linen).