To connect all people with art. I believe in interconnectivity of people, the earth and all things in which we surround ourselves. I want to inspire others with my art, to have people know that we are all worthy of original art especially in regards to surrounding ourselves with visual beauty that remind us that we are worth it. I create inspirational, stimulating and expressive art on a local and global basis.
To spread the power of playfulness, beauty, and pleasure by connecting people to real art. To create artwork that tell stories, channel memories and inspires others to embrace the qualities of beauty in themselves: where human nature connects with our values to contribute to a better world.
Ellen Sweetman is a Minnesota native-born artist. After her formal training in art and theater (1996), she spent many years participating in others endeavors while exploring and playing with her own art on the side. These years were filled with commission work for business’ and individual patrons alike, teaching art classes, and creative play with her children. Ellen worked with most media but found oil painting to be her love. Whether still life, landscapes, portrait or floral subjects, oil painting was the way of collecting experiences and memories, investigating them, and putting them in fixed forms for the viewer to explore in turn.
In 2008, she took painting outside. Ellen fell in love with showing artists how to elevate their medium of choice and how to make it portable. Plein air painting continues to be an important part of her process.
Her continued influences of the human figure and landscapes inspired and sparked an interest in the symbiotic relationship of these two, their evolution and shared characteristics. Feelings about her surroundings, her own body and psyche, and spirituality intrigued her and started to come out in her artwork. Healing became the focus of her art.
After finding her voice in her art, discovering that art heals, and her belief that there is an artist in us all, Ellen went full time in 2011. She continues to paint and teach but in very different capacities. She has just recently returned to sculpture.
I was born in 1973 in the town of Red Wing, Minnesota. Moved to Welch in 1985 where I carried out my education in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. There I studied under Tim Getman, Dennis Kalow and John Fogarty. I attended The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University where I worked with Bela Petheo, Brother Allen Reed, Jim Hendershot, Sr. Balu Kuan, Tom Darnall, and Kerry Lafferty.
I spent many years traveling overseas. Countries visited include: Spain, France, Norway, Netherlands, and Japan. Currently, I enjoy traveling the United States with my family.
I am the proud mother of 4 children. We reside in Minnetonka, Minnesota as of the summer of 2015.
Wherever I’ve lived in the world, I’ve looked at my surroundings with a sympathetic and curious eye – a suburban ditch, a particularly expressive face, the patterns on a leaf. Whether still life, landscapes, portrait or floral subjects, oil painting is a way of collecting these experiences and memories, investigating them, and putting them in fixed forms for the viewer to explore in turn. A painting of any of these can be a map, a journal or a snapshot.
My canvases currently are small in scale, and contrast the intimacy of that format with the boldness of the gesture and color. These paintings are created to invite the viewer into them with a playful, colorful and expressive style that invites an investigation of both the technique – how the brush leaves a mark atop another — and also the subjects I depict. One day I hope to return to larger canvas and explore my world on another level.
I am inspired and amazed visually by the human figure and landscapes. Specifically, by the symbiotic relationship of these two, their evolution and shared characteristics. Feelings about my surroundings, my own body and psyche, and spirituality intrigue me. Discovery of self and relationships as a whole stimulate me. I feel compelled to share my interpretation of our world, beauty, conflict, shame, freedom, and spirituality. I am passionate about seeking a truth from within by using color and line. I am inspired by others, their stories, and shared emotions.
My life is like a palette rich in colors: phthalo blues and greens, cadmium reds and yellows. Splashes of color across a canvas can be invigorating. The interaction of color in small spaces is inviting. Its relationship as it pushes and pulls to create a certain mood or feeling stimulates me. Though subtlety has its place, the boldness and richness of color is intriguing.
Oil painting is the medium I choose to work with for its amazing ability to manipulate. Each brushstroke has its identity, telling its own story of what it is about to unveil. I love watching the colors bleed into one another. I imagine the form coming to life as the paint overlaps. A texture peeks out from underneath a layer; it shares a hint of a familiar brushstroke. Its movement across the canvas inspires me. I love to peel the layers of my canvas. It can reveal the most intimate arrangement.
I am driven by the endless possibilities of each new canvas and unearthing each of their personalities. The subject matter for these paintings, as well as its composition may appear simplistic. Conversely, each composition is a magnified labyrinth. The focus of each painting is to reconnect the story and its qualities with paint, color and its relationships, brushstroke, and process.
Interested in a painting? Want to commission a piece of artwork? I love working with new clients and old friends. If you see something you like or have any questions about my art or my process, please let me know! I look forward to hearing from you!