Art quotes

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

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Why Artists Paint - Chinese saying, Henry James, 4-year-old artist

       A few days ago a painting was handed to me. The presenter watched my expression with an expectant glance trying to catch my reaction. The creation was all in blue circles swirling over the white paper. When an artist first sees a new painting the normal reaction is something like, how was it done and could I do this, too? The new painting was placed beside one of my mostly blue pieces and the similarity was quite remarkable. Who did this good little painting? A four-year-old created this masterpiece, a young artist reveling in the joy and exhilaration of the moment.
On Hold 16x20 at Lansing Art Gallery Holiday Show

       As artists we often get caught up in promotion and marketing, trying to arrange the next contact so we can be in the right place at the right time to catch a sale break. This can sap the spontaneity and pure joy away from the reason we are in the arts.
       The four-year-old artist got recognition and validation for his work. Isn’t that what we all seek when we put our work in public view? An ancient Chinese saying gives us insight as to why we create: In painting, the master paints not the created image, but the forces that created that image.
       We don’t know the forces working on the four-year-old and we can hardly monitor the forces that lurk in our own lives. We don’t always have time to evaluate our action as we pursue our creative passions but if we did, we might consider the writer Henry James’s often pondered three questions: 1. What was the artist trying to achieve? 2. Was the attempt successful? 3. Was the effort worth attempting?       
Agate Field in Shiawassee Art Center, Owosso, MI

       The four-year-old artist painted for the pure joy of the moment, no concerns about the market or the contact leading to public acceptance, just pure and innocent joy. Oh to have the courage of a four-year-old artist.

       Speaking of the art market, many opportunities are available this season to buy beautiful original art. Folks that are in the tri-state region of Michigan-Ohio-Indiana, or those who are returning for the holidays may want to visit several venues that I share with a host of regional artists. Be sure to support the arts during this brilliant colorful season:
We Are Stardust 36 x36 in atrium at Mid-Michigan Physicians Bldg

Lansing Art Center,119 N. Washington Sq., Lansing MI 48933  
Shiawassee Art Center, 206 Curwood Castle Drive, Owosso, MI
Rackham Hall, University of Michigan, fourth floor, to see Purple Pair in “Reaching for the Light” exhibit (show comes down December 6), contact River Gallery, curators, 120 S. Main St., Chelsea, MI (see previous blog)
Spring Marsh Song 36x36 in atrium at Mid-Michigan Physicians Building
Lansing Area Arts Commission at Mid-Michigan Physicians Building, 1540 Lake Lansing Rd, Lansing, MI, three floors of good art; Joel Ellis Art in the atrium: We Are Stardust, Spring Marsh Song
Force by Design, sixth floor of the Marriot Hotel, East Lansing, across from Charles Street Parking Ramp on Albert St, East Lansing
Evening Breeze 18x24 Lansing Art Gallery

Technology InnovationCenter, (above former Barnes and Noble building), 325 E. Grand River/downtown East Lansing; accessible from 2nd level skywalk of Charles Street parking ramp
Mid-Michigan ArtGuild, Okemos Library, 4321 Okemos Road, Okemos, MI
Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in my work – Joel F. Ellis, , 517-525-0150 or at any of the venues mentioned.
Sylvie's Beach 24x30 at Technology Innovation Center

Thank you for your interest,

Early Snow 18x24 to be in MMAG at Okemos Library