Art quotes

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cool Paintings for Cool Cities

       A few days ago we had a family gathering and birthday celebration, a great way to keep the summer a little longer. The house was specially cleaned and made ready for the family. A friend said the good part about a party is an excuse to really clean the house and the added bonus, tasty left
Autumn Dune Grasses, 16x20 oil on linen
(Copyright Joel F. Ellis)
       One relative guest wanted to see the studio. She was from another state and gets to Michigan once a year. She walked into another world of colors, shapes and smells. Her reaction was surprising to me.
       Oh, cool Joel, this is really cool.
       We forget the person not creating the art is entering into a whole new world. She was quick to spot the painting in progress, and not shy about talking about the parts she liked.  As a piece is “in the process” of creation we go through levels of ecstasy and dismay until all the weak parts are discovered, analyzed and improved. I have found a break from the painting process will give my eye a better insight into the improvements needed. That’s where a cup of tea comes in handy; a moment of contemplating the tea of choice for this painting session is a real plus.  A minute or so later and the fun starts up again until that next sip of tea and a chance to see the painting in progress beginning to transform by the step back and check process.
       Many years ago my university oil painting professor said it takes two people to paint a successful painting, one to apply paint and one to tell the artist when to stop. A good artist’s friend added that he wishes all artists could be more self-critical of their work. I put a little note in my journal about the comment hoping he wasn’t being tactful about my artist endeavors.
       Over the last few months we have been putting my work in for judging to get into some special shows. Some are accepted and some not, that is the process we all face in the arts. We put our efforts out to be viewed and evaluated by the audience. It would  be wonderful if all comments were “Oh, cool Joel, this is really cool.”
       As a side note – I am happy to say that two of those special shows have been accepted:
  • I was one of six artists selected for the “Art in the Sky” project, a partnership with Adams Outdoor Advertising (billboards) and the Greater Lansing Arts Council. The painting, Bold Beach, (see previous blog, September1) will be presented on a billboard within a 100 mile radius of  greater Lansing to help promote the arts in our Mid-Michigan area and show how “cool” arts are in the Lansing area.
  • Purple Pair, a special painting was selected by the RiverGallery for “Reaching for the Light” curated by the gallery at Rackham Hall, University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus. I am delighted by these entries and acceptance.

Welcome to a colorful autumn

Purple Pair 18x24 acrylic on linen, currently exhibited at Rackham Hall, University of Michigan
(Copyright Joel F. Ellis)