Artist Ellen Sherman Takes Us Behind Her Process

Ellen Sherman’s gorgeous blue paintings reminds us of Yves Klein, but more a calm ocean than a bolt of lightning. The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based abstract artist works with water media to explore the rhythm and balance found within nature. She works intuitively, each stroke of the paint brush informing the next, creating a meditative experience for the artist and viewer. We sat down with Ellen to talk about her process and her what inspires her art!

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My work is a response to the feelings one has while walking along the shore, or standing before a great forest of ancient pines. Those are the moments I search for – of awe and oneness in nature.

Creativity is…
A passion for creation, problem solving and being ok with revealing a little bit of your soul.

I am inspired by…
Being out in the world. Whether traversing a silent ancient forest, or navigating city streets under structures of steel and concrete, I am inspired by being a traveler and most of all an observer.

My favorite creatives are…
The work and process of O’Keefe and Rothko have always been very near and dear to my heart.

I would describe my process as…
Intuitive; quick, raw strokes that inform the next. I don’t like to overthink a particular painting, relying on motion, balance, color theory and rhythm to bring life to my work.

In my studio, I can’t live without…
Music (currently a Lord Huron or Sigur Ros record, or various video game soundtracks). My favorite coffee cup – filled to the brim with a homemade latte!). Plants. My studio is pretty much a jungle at this point and I love it.

The three words that best describe my work:
Meditative. Abstraction. Motion.

The era that inspires me most…
Right now. We have an unprecedented amount of information at our fingertips, a (near) limitless supply of inspiration and history to inform our lives. New technologies pop up every day to create and connect communities and I can’t help but feel renewed and empowered by the wonderful things we are able to experience in this age.

The best advice I’ve ever received as an artist:
From my dad, who was echoing his dad (though it applies to more than just art); “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” As an artist, this advice has been invaluable. It’s easy to throw something together and walk away, but keeping this in mind draws me back to the piece, to explore it fully.

To me, my art is…
An exploration into the forces and balance of life; a journey into things we feel, rather than see.

My prints will look perfect in…
That space that fosters calm and encourages moments to pause and breathe. Whether enjoyed with friends and family, or as a spot to sit and meditate and as an individual – any place that needs a bit of color and life.

Visit Ellen’s Chairish Shop>>

Follow Ellen on Instagram @ellen_the_lemon

April 30, 2016

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