Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ellen Richman - Painter

Orange Crush 
Ellen Richman

Circa Gallery Featured Artist
Ellen Richman
3/9/12 - 4/14/12
Circa Gallery LAI Profile

Name: Ellen Richman
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Website: profile:
Facebook Page

Ellen Richman, B.F.A University of Minnesota.  Ellen’s paintings have been exhibited, published and collected locally, nationally and internationally.  She exhibits frequently and teaches at Minnetonka Center for the Arts.  She is represented at CIRCA Gallery in Minneapolis and Thomas Masters Gallery in Chicago.  

Ease in Light

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?

My paintings are oil on canvas.  I paint in many thin layers and focus on formal aspects such as color, contrast and composition.  I believe that much of what is exciting in the work is looking at what the paint does when I express myself.  A rhythm and tempo develope and the painting builds up on the layers before it.  It is an exploration in abstraction, very much like life itself.  The result is rich and organic.  It interests me how this effects mood, emotion and the subconscious.   I have been influenced by many abstract painters such as Richard Diebenkorn, Edward Dugmore, Luc LeBon, Robert Motherwell and Joan Mitchel, to name a few.   What I am excited about in this new body of work is that it is very expressive, and compositionally strong. 

In past work I have taken the same formalism and produced highly geometric images.  I enjoyed how the eye moved around the canvas, but the organic expressive layering and emotional resonance is what is exciting me now.

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?

In flux

What I love about abstraction is that it is universal, in that it is a unique experience for each person.   Everybody has his own mind and vision, and takes that to the work.  The paintings do not dictate but provide the viewer with a mood and emotion or elicit feelings and associations of something more personal for them.  I would hope that my audience would find beauty and enjoyment in the looking.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
To value my own work.
Pink Lucinda

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.

I have a home studio.  I like it very much because I don’t waste time getting myself together and driving across town.  I can wake up and start working right away or have breakfast looking at my work from the day before.  I spend a lot of time looking at the work deciding and thinking about what to do next in terms of color or how to get the eye to move around the canvas.  When I have decided on a “plan” it usually changes while I am working.  The actual painting has an improvisational manner, but I would say that the entire process is a “full brained” experience.  The left brain does the looking and calculating and the right brain reacts and creates new harmonies in the working.
Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

One of my favorite Minnesota abstract painters is Barbara Kreft  Her work is highly detailed abstraction in oil.  James Wrayge also makes beautiful abstract work.

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?

I most always go to the openings at Circa Gallery and the Burnet Art Gallery at Chambers  Other galleries I recommend are Highpoint Center for Printmaking Franklin Art Works and Weinstein Gallery In addition the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, the MIA the Walker Art Center and the Weisman Art Museum  

So Many Secrets

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?

If I find an artist I like I tend to look at the galleries that represent them.  That will lead me to another artist that I am not familiar with and so on.  For example, I really like Melinda Stickney-Gibson’s paintings.  She shows at Thomas Masters Gallery in Chicago where I also am represented. . I saw that she was at Littlejohn Contemporary, so I looked at their website to see which other artists were represented there.

Other galleries that I have found that I enjoy looking at are: AMERINGER-McENERY-YOHE, STEPHEN HALLER GALLERY, Elizabeth Harris Gallery (which I found because I saw Thornton Willis’s work in Art in America. and Howard Scott Gallery which I was told about through CIRCA.  But there are so many galleries.  I think my best advise is if you see an artist who’s work you like in a magazine or on line see where they are represented and start there.  

Do you have any exhibits to promote?

In the very near future I have a exhibition at CIRCA GALLERY where I will be showing my new paintings along with ceramic artist Maren  Kloppmann.  There will be an opening party on Friday March 9, 2012 from 5-8pm.  It is open to the public.  The exhibition runs through April 14th.

Ellen Richman

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