Friday, December 16, 2011

"Finding A Home" The Story

The Story


 Recently I received the most wonderful email from a woman who had seen my work in a gallery!

Hi Kim,

I was walking by 5 Main in Wickford today and I must say your painting sung to my spirit from the window, I didn't go in... Then when I got home, I was still thinking of it. I found out that you were the artist from their Facebook page 
which led me to your website ( )...
When I found out the paintings name, I felt an even greater connection to it. I wanted you to know your work touched me....thank you. 

   As you can imagine, MY heart began to sing at the thought that one of my paintings touched someone so deeply! What a blessing! I wrote Jess back immediately thanking her for writing. I told her that the main reason I paint (besides keeping myself sane) is to spread peace, love and joy!

   The next email I received is the reason for this blog:

Hi Kim,

I just wanted to let you know that the painting found it’s a home with me... I am actually giving it as a holiday present. I was wondering if you would write a short note about the painting...  I don't know if this is something you would do but I feel very connected to the piece and would love more insight behind it, especially its name.

Let me know your thoughts and thanks again for being so responsive to my earlier emails!

   So Jess, here’s the story of “FINDING A HOME”

 You’ve probably noticed by now that I pretty much paint Trees and Birds. Sure there are the other occasional things that inspire me… But Trees and Birds are what bring me peace and joy.

   As a child, when life got tumultuous, I would run into the woods. There was a special place in the woods for me. It was a clearing… and in that clearing a tree had fallen down, making a perfect “couch” for me to sit on. It was there that I came to know God. I spent hours on my “couch” looking up at the trees talking to God. … It wouldn’t be until my early 40’s that I would come to realize something very special.

   I was away at a retreat. I began to feel overwhelmed, and decided to go for a walk. I crossed the field and found myself heading into the woods. Wouldn’t you know, I found a clearing where a tree had fallen down… I took a seat. Looking up at such a familiar site, I realized something that would change my life. Looking up at those trees represented to me the face of God! I was completely humbled and overcome with joy. I realized that no matter where I was, in life or on this planet, God was always there with me, never changing, consistently there and always loving me!

   It would take me years before I had the courage to paint a tree.

                                             “LOOKING UP”

   After painting “Looking Up”, I haven’t stopped painting trees. Trees for me represent home… safety, love, nurturing, protection, a place to find peace.

   So now you understand why I paint trees! SOOOO…. Where do the birds come in?!

                                 “FREE BIRD”

   For whatever reason, I have always loved and admired birds. Their freedom to float about and be singing at all times! The way they nurture and care for their young! The simplicity of love and life!


   When I started painting, I painted nothing but birds! My Grandmother (who is one of my best friends) would say “What’s with the birds?” LOL!  I just couldn’t help myself! I connected to their pure beauty, I longed for it! I began to think of birds as people as I painted them. Some of the birds were selfportraits, but most were just my way of telling a story!

                                                     “CHAINED TO THE WORLD”

So, now you understand the depth of the trees and the birds!
So what’s the story behind “FINDING A HOME”?

This canvas started at a class I took up in Boston. I went to the class because some friends invited me. The class really wasn’t my cup of tea, but my theory is that the more I can learn from other artists, the better my art will be! At any rate, this painting on this canvas was atrocious! I don’t throw anything out, so I threw some newspaper on the wet paint so I wouldn’t get paint in the car. I planned to take the paper off as soon as I got home, but of course I forgot… I forgot about this canvas for months! When I finally found it, I tried to peel the paper off. There were some places the paper was NOT going to come off! Being an experimental/ mixed media painter… I thought… FUN! What can I make this into! So, I gazed upon it for a while and began to see the tree! It would be a tree of people! The newspaper photo was a crowd of people that looked just like the trunk of a tree! So I began to do some negative painting and this is the painting that came to life! The group of birds are looking for a safe home where they can all live and do life together. They would recognize this tree as being just like them! Seeing this, they knew this was where God intended them to call home! …….AND… THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER! J

So Jess… there’s your story! Hope it wasn’t too long for you!
Hugs and Happiness!

Monday, May 16, 2011

This week, I thought I would try posting a Video Blog of sorts! It's simply an introduction into my studio! I hope you enjoy it... it's my first attempt at making a video!
I will most likely be back next week with some new paintings!

Monday, May 2, 2011


Have you ever had a mental block in your artwork? You know… you think you’re on track, but nothing is coming out of you. … You know the song “Hello It’s Me”, well... Hello, it’s me! Mentally blocked and challenged!

After working six intense months of producing the Fine Arts Showcase for the RIBA Home Show, and making all the artwork to go into my booth … I have crashed! I’m slow to realize this too! The show ended on April 3rd, that was an entire month ago!

I’m normally the kind of artist that produces about 4-6 good paintings in a month. My schedule usually allows me to paint 4-5 days a week.  However, I am constantly thinking about my artwork and where I want to take it next.

So, to have no work and little inspiring thoughts for a month is , well… depressing!

As mentioned in my previous blog, I have sketched out a few birds, and worked on some color studies in colored pencil and watercolors. This was a fun project because I could take my sketch book and small case of pencils or watercolors and work anywhere! No wonder so many people like painting with watercolors!

Then, I painted on a small panel and worked on focusing on my background. Here’s a shot of what I have so far. I must say, I have a difficult time working on small pieces. That means small brushes, and carefully calculated little strokes. It’s a pain in the “bleep” to work like this! I like to be able to play with different mediums and textures, lots of paint, and big brushes!

So, to conclude last weeks “homework” that I gave to myself…
1. It was good to restudy the anatomy of birds and give them a second look.
2. It was fun to do some color studies of birds, but I don’t believe I gained anything to put in my toolbox of knowledge here.
3. Even though the economy is bad, and people are buying mostly artwork that sells for $100 or less… I DO NOT LIKE PAINTING SMALL!
4. I need to lighten up! My number one rule in life /art is simply to “Have Fun”… or why bother!

This weeks “homework” assignment to myself:
ReRead “Art and Fear” by David Bayles and Ted Orland
Make “ME” a priority this week!
Start a series of paintings from “Hurricane Tree”

Hope you enjoyed this weeks blog! See you next week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Taking A Step Back

   Have you ever taken a step back and really looked at your work?
 I recently had the opportunity to do just that. 


    I was hired to coordinate the first ever Fine Arts Showcase for the RIBA Home Show. This show is HUGE! About  25,000 people streamed through the doors of the Providence Convention Center in just 4 days! I was given 76 booths to fill with artists.  The whole project took 6 months to coordinate. It was a BLAST! ... but time consumming to say the least!

( Me and My Booth at the RIBA Home Show!)

   During this time frame, my painting took a back seat…. Don’t get me wrong, I was still painting, just not on a daily basis! This is how I was able to slow down long enough to take a step back and really get to SEE my work. What a blessing! I am seeing things I like, things I don’t like, and things I want to play with and improve on.

    So I thought I would share my plan of attack and my thoughts  in my blog!  I am hoping that the people who read my blog will send comments, ideas, critiques… whatever! Just join me in the fun of helping me and my artwork grow!

   So, here's the plan!  

   Number one thing I want to work on in my paintings are the backgrounds. I find that I love creating main subjects and having certain elements play off of them, but I am lacking density in the background elements. You know, tones and values, where my light source plays in, … this sort of thing. I am not saying I plan to change the child like way I paint, I am merely saying I want to play with the full use of the canvas and the story it can be telling.

(I like the use of the canvas and its background in this painting)

( I feel like this background could have been pushed more)

   Secondly, I want to create some new ways of painting my birds. I absolutely LOVE birds and trees, and I want to take some time to explore new ways of creating and painting them. For this, I plan to take out my  Ornithology Book.

   Lastly, I plan to play with painting with a few different mother colors. Again, this is for fun and to see where play will take me!

   It’s all about having fun… but selling a few paintings along the way will be great! Anyway… I will post on a weekly basis my progress. Hope you enjoy my postings and PLEASE make comments along the way! 

Hugs and Fun!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pain and Oppression

“Pain and Oppression”

This piece is a piece of healing.
We all have inner “hauntings” if you will…
I realized that when something triggers one of my haunts , in my mind I curl up into the fetal position and feel like a six year old child again.
Does this ever happen to you?
I painted this as a way of cleansing and healing.
My hopes are that the viewer who relates to this sort of pain, can look upon this and know you are not alone. The things that cause us pain are not easy to look at; but once we face them, we can uncurl ourselves, stand straight up, and face the world with less fear and intimidation!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Today, I was sharing some of my favorite links with a couple of my students and friends... and the thought hit me! I need to share them in my blog!
One of my first workshops I ever took was a Bob Burridge workshop called
Loosen Up Your painting with Loosey Juicy Acrylics ( or something to that effect!)  ... That is how my love affair with Acrylic Paints Started!
Anyhow... I love one of Bob's quotes ( and there are many!!  :)   Bob always says " There's a piece of the Pie for Everyone"  .... In other words - Share in your knowledge and discoveries! There's room for every artist!
   I originally wanted to hoard my discoveries, fearing that if I shared them then I wouldn't have the edge! HAHAHAHA!!!!! I don't have any edge other than the one God gave me! (My desire and passion to paint)
   I can share ALL my favorite materials and teachers/mentors and you know what, EVERY artist in the room will paint differently from the other! I agree with Bob! Let's share in our knowledge and our favorites! Let's feed our young and support them! .... and one more thing.... SHOOT me if I ever become one of those pretentious artists that becomes too big for my own britches!

So, here they are... my favorite links!


Great Paint, Great Price. I find it goes great with my Holbein paints!

Holbein Paints:
Love the Mat and Acryla Paints!


Wyanne is an amazing teacher who is great for my busy schedule! You communicate with Wyanne via internet. She sets you up with a lesson or two, and you send her images in this funky online class! I LOVE IT! It makes it so that in between going to large events that last a couple days and I travel for, I have my Wyanne! She has really helped me to take my art to the next level! I really didn't know what to make of the whole online thing, but for $65 I thought it was worth a shot! I'm definitely hooked!!



I don't paint without one of Bob's color wheels across from me!

Linda's work is beautiful! Definite difference from Bobs! Both are AMAZING teachers, and BOTH will be at the Holbein Event I'm going to in vermont in July (link below)!! Linda is sweet, and gentle, and soothing to the soul! I LOVE her!!! Bob, is wacky and crazy ( nothing soothing about Bob!) ... if you want to be set free and loosen up, Bob's crazy jokes, colors and fast pace is the way to go! I personally need a Bob and Linda fix when I go!
Linda Kemp:


JJJULy 26-30, 2011
Vermont Art Event - Holbein HK Trade Show (Tuesday-Saturday)
Williston, Vermont. For more information and a schedule, contact HK Holbein, (800) 682-6686.


Good canvas for a Great Price


Great Brushes for a great price!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Looking Up


Trees have always been an important part of my life…
I know this sounds funny, right!
However, they truly have been embedded in my heart since childhood!
As a child, I would play in the woods all the time!
We had a creek that we would trudge in with muck boots,
we’d look under rocks for salamanders …
it was our enchanted playground!
When my heart was troubled,
I would venture out into what I considered my own personal living room. 
It was a clearing where a tree had fallen down.
The tree became my “couch”. 
I would lay on it looking up through the trees to the sky.
 It was here I would come to know God.
I spoke with Him often in my living room…
It was years later, when I was away on a retreat. I found my heart troubled.
So, I ventured off by myself and found myself in a patch of woods.
A tree had fallen down, so I had a seat.
I looked up, and there was His face.
It was then that I realized the message God was sending me;
No matter where you are,
no matter where you go,
There He is… just waiting for you to open your eyes and see His face!

This past friday I had an Opening Exhibit at
Voila Gallery.
The night was magical!
I just wanted to share this picture with you...
These women are the sisters of my heart and soul...
gifts from God!
Thank you my friends for always being there
 to support me and my art! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"She Sings in Riddles"

"She Sings in Riddles"

This painting was inspired by a song I listen to by my favorite band "Third Day".  The lyrics of the song are coming from the birds mouth.

"She sings in riddles, she sings in rhymes, saying everything and nothing, at the same time. Still there's something, that blows my mind... she sings in riddles, she sings in rhymes"

This song speaks to my soul! We all come from such diverse backgrounds. Different cultures, religions, skin color, different languages...
We can choose to look at the differences between us and allow them to divide us.
We can choose to see the beauty in one another! We sometimes don't understand one another, and sometimes don't even agree with each other. However, we were all created by the same creator, created with love and careful planning.
So, when I painted this painting... I painted it in the hopes that when the viewer looked at it, it would create a feeling of Joy, Peace, and wonder. You have to step into the painting to see what is coming from her mouth. Then, the beautiful lyrics... and then finally the journey begins for the viewer... left to wonder what the lyrics mean to you!
To listen to "She Sings in Riddles"
click here:

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Rooted in Love"


I loved creating this painting! It is 20 x 60 ... almost as tall as me! Large paintings are my favorite to create because there is so much room to play on! The heart is a puffy 3 dimensional heart, and each leaf on the tree took 8 different procedures to create... I am talking serious fun!
Anyway... this painting was inspired by a life experience.
My niece, Daniel Sacks, is quite an amazing actress and singer... but she also writes songs. She had written a song called "Inspired" for our good friend Dr. Ala Bashir.  To know Ala Bashir is truly a blessing! He is the warmest, wisest, and most inspiring person I have ever had the honor to know and love. Well, Danielle felt the same way.... so she wrote him a song. She was away at school, so she had to skype Ala to sing it to him. So, we all gathered around the computer screen and watched Danielle and her friend perform "Inspired" .  As we watched with tears of joy in our eyes, an image came to me. It was the image of "Rooted in Love".
I imagined a seed planted in my/our hearts. From it came a beautiful tree that would bring shelter, beauty, and fresh clean air to breathe.
So today, when you look out at the trees surrounding your life, image it coming from your heart. What would it's branches be extending out to the world? Would it be love, kindness, and patience??? What you choose to extend  and inspire in life is your choice... so what will you choose today?
Me at Voila Gallery

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Life is a Van Gogh Sky!

My life is a Van Gogh Sky! You know the sky in "Starry Night"? All swirly and colorful... well, that's my life right now! Life is CHAOS! You know the term. "Don't bite off more than you can chew?" ... Well, if that statement were literal, I'd be choking!
   I am currently coordinating the first ever Fine Arts Area in the RI Home Show. I have been assigned 76 booths to fill with talented fine artists... I have also been Co-Chairing the Educational Committee for the Wickford Art Association... I also teach a Mixed Media Class on Fridays ... I have recently been invited to exhibit at Voila Gallery in Wickford, RI.... and I take an online class with Wyanne on commercial marketing... PLUS, I live in RI, we have recently had about 40 inches of snow from multiple snow storms, so that means ALOT OF SHOVELING!!!! YIKES! Where is there time to paint?!

Ahhhhh.... PAINTING! The real subject of this blog!

I feel I need to give a little background before I start this blog. I've always been an artist. As far back as Junior High School I can remember thinking "When I grow up, I want to be a Mom and an Artist!" Well, that is my blessed life today!  I dabbled for years with all different mediums; clay, stone, and then finally paint. I started painting  on canvas only about 7 years ago. I was painting so fast and furiously that the paintings started piling up. I was quickly running out of paint... So, I started selling my work to support my addiction, which is paint and all the lovely mediums that go along with them!
Painting for me is a necessity, it's how I keep my sanity!

   This Blog is going to journal my paintings as they come to life. I will be telling the story behind each creation. I hope you enjoy reading this blog and learning about the paintings as they are created!

   So, I guess that concludes today's blog! I hope everyone has a Fun and Creative Day! See you in the next blog!

KimKim Ellery Blog