"From an early age, I've been fortunate to have seen remarkably good works of art and met some of the best painters in the field. My friendships with Wolf Kahn and Forrest Moses along with Wolf's master classes have been invaluable."
Gussie Fauntleroy in a review for Southwest Art Magazine:
There is a paradox in Ken Elliott's landscapes: They pulse with powerful color, and yet collectors speak of his paintings as exuding a sense of calm. They contain choreographed rhythm and order, even within the seeming disorder of winter trees along a creek. "I'm trying to give the paintings muscle, poetry, power, and gentleness. I'm screaming-but in a civilized way," the artist jokes.
Ken's involvement in the art business has now spanned 40 years. He bgan as a picture framer in Houston, then worked alongside an art restorer, became an art dealer, and about 30 years ago, began to draw and paint. He has worked in a variety of media over the years and is now working primarily in oil and pastel. His artworks are in thousands of collections including commissioned works in prestigious private and public collections.
He is a colorist foremost, and is attracted to the landscape with its rich store of ideas and inspiration.
"I am compelled to work from the trees, skies, lakes and streams in their endless variations. I don't try to recreate nature (even Monet said he never got it right) or attempt storytelling. Instead, the works are simplifications and exaggerations of nature. There was a time when I felt the tyranny of the landscape. That is, I felt limited by making pictures of a place. Now, instead of attempting representations of a scene, I am free to make paintings that are far more reliant on the strategies of making fine art.
Fortunately, I've learned that what some would call mistakes are part of the creative process. So, I try to begin boldly, not worrying about missteps and exaggerating nature. During the process, I allow my vision and the inevitable 'flaws' to become a part of the emerging image. Some will be eliminated and the more delicious ones are incorporated into the paintings as unintended surprises.
Painting in not a linear line, start to finish process for me. I typically have a number of paintings and pastels in progress in the studio. I welcome interruptions and they become part of the process. If the phone rings, I'll turn my back to the easel to look at other paintings or gaze out the window. Sometimes the very solution I'm seeking is found that way. All the paintings and different views feed each other, offering solutions and more problems. Those paintings that make it out the door have come to a good but sometimes torturtous conclusion.
In my works, all of nature is altered, perfected and abstracted. When I run out of variations to an idea, I'll go back to nature when all the inspirations and colors for a lifetime are always waiting."