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.