Being an Artist

PASTELPAINTINGS, mixed media on paper.

About ‘Being an Artist’:
Ellen Grael has great affinity with the Renaissance Art featured with a simple but highly effective composional form: a central human figure in the foreground was placed against a natural landscape in the background.
Ellen; ‘My aim is to use this form to explore different aspects of - being an artist-: my profession and the profession’.For my ‘being an artist’ series, Grael asked an artist to be her model. Also with a basis of photos, Grael shaped facial and bodily expressions. She is reluctant to use herself as a model: using someone else creates a distance which allows her to explore the subject in more depth. The drawings mirror Graels own experience regardless or whether the depicted figure is a man or woman.
The human feelings that are this subject of the artists her work are universal: accepting loneliness, with concentration going into the subject, depth and perseverance. She quote: ‘Every professional artist who goes through a creative process is familiar with them’.Ellen Grael depict the artist as an explorer eager to discover unknown territories and traverse the oceans. In the creative artistic mind destinations are dark, captivating and new and the road that leads to them, from creative design to the end product, is strewn with wondering and obstacles to overcome.

She thinks that an artist is an explorer but also an alchemist and an inventor. Ellen: ‘I imagine the artist navigating a sailboat; after a long journey, an unknown island comes into view; being a sailor alights with mixed expectations, wondering what welcome has been reserved’.
Ellens pastelpaintings are a mix of Eastern and Western techniques that yield picturesque effects. Telling that the ink wash technique is originally from China, from where it spread to Japan. Another strong influence besides the many renaissance masters are the famous 18th century pastelmasters like the Italian Rosalba Carrièra and the French pastelmaster Maurice Quentin de La Tour. Famous Japanese ink wash masters from the 15th century like Toyo Sesshu, and at the beginning of the 16th century Hasegawa Tõhaku continue to impress her.Since Graels time at art school - Art Academy Minerva -, my affinity is with paper – the specific characteristics of paper she cannot translate directly to other materials such as linen.
Afbeelding invoegenBeing an Artist, 65 x 50cm