Ellsworth Kelly - Quotes

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When I see a white piece of paper, I feel I've got to draw. And drawing, for me, is the beginning of everything. ---->>>

One of the first drawings I did in Paris - I wasn't thinking of doing drawings, but somehow or other, I kept drawing - I bought a hyacinth flower with a lot of leaves, just to make me feel like spring. ---->>>

I did not want windows, only skylights. I chose my painting wall as it has the best morning light. ---->>>

Shape and color are my two strong things. And by doing this, drawing plants has always led me into my paintings and my sculptures. ---->>>

The paintings to me are always canvas; sculpture has always been metal, though I have made sculpture in wood, also. ---->>>

In Paris in the late '40s, I started making my first reliefs. They are separate panels. I wanted to do something coming out of the wall, almost like a collage. I did a lot of white reliefs when I started because I liked antique reliefs, really old stuff. ---->>>

All my paintings are usually done in drawing form, very small. I make notations in drawings first, and then I make a collage for color. But drawing is always my notation. ---->>>

My forms are geometric, but they don't interact in a geometric sense. They're just forms that exist everywhere, even if you don't see them. ---->>>

I was taught to draw very well when I was in school at Boston. And I grew to enjoy drawing so much that I never stopped. ---->>>

All my work comes from perceiving. I kept seeing things that were brooding in me. I'm not a geometric artist. ---->>>

Each drawing that I've done, I have found. Meaning, I see a plant I want to draw. ---->>>

I don't like acrylic because you can't get the density of color. And with each coat of oil paint, the surface gets better and richer. ---->>>

I'm constantly investigating nature - nature, meaning everything. ---->>>

Geometry is moribund. I want a lilt and joy to art. ---->>>

I don't labor over my drawings. I want to get freedom in the line. ---->>>

I just feel like I can live on. I hope I can reach 100. I think today if you just keep doing, keep working, that - maybe that's possible. ---->>>

I like silence. ---->>>

Shading is more like copying. And certainly I do copy, but I'm making drawings, and I'm not trying to make them with the shading. ---->>>

The negative is just as important as the positive. ---->>>

Gray goes with gold. Gray goes with all colors. I've done gray-and-red paintings, and gray and orange go so well together. It takes a long time to make gray because gray has a little bit of color in it. ---->>>

I said, I don't want to paint things like Picasso's women and Matisse's odalisques lying on couches with pillows. I don't want to paint people. I want to paint something I have never seen before. I don't want to make what I'm looking at. I want the fragments. ---->>>

My ideas I can find anywhere. And I draw because I have to note down my ideas or flashes - I call them flashes, because they come to me, like that. Not so much in the plant drawings. I have to see them. ---->>>

I started doing sculpture in 1959. I had no commissions then. They were painted, similar in style to the paintings... At a certain point, I decided I didn't want an edge between two colors, I wanted color differences in literal space. ---->>>

I'm interested in the space between the viewer and the surface of the painting - the forms and the way they work in their surroundings. I'm interested in how they react to a room. ---->>>

Matisse draws what I call the essence of the plants. He leaves a shape open. He'll do a leaf and not close it. Everybody used to say, oh, I got it all from Matisse, and I said, 'Not really.' ---->>>

All my work begins with drawings. ---->>>

I always felt that a painted edge between two colors was a depiction somehow. ---->>>

I don't like mixed colors that much, like plum color or deep, deep colors that are hard to define. ---->>>

I have a sort of inner sense for scale. ---->>>

I like to be able to get swift curves in the plant drawings that are usually drawn in five to ten minutes. ---->>>

I only like artists older than myself. Time is so important. It's always been the same way, I guess. ---->>>

I've always wanted... I wanted to give people joy. ---->>>

In Boston, I developed my eye from the drawing. In Paris, I was fascinated by what my eye saw in the way that Paris is built, its 'measure.' ---->>>

My drawings have to be quick. If they don't happen in 20 minutes or a half hour, then they're no good. ---->>>

Time has always been very important in my work. ---->>>

I have trained my eye over and over ever since I was a kid. I was a bird watcher when I was a little boy. My grandmother gave me a bird book, and I got to like their colors. ---->>>

I learned my color in Europe. I've always been a colorist, I think. I started when I was very young, being a bird-watcher, fascinated by the bird colors. ---->>>

I sometimes don't try to invent something. I wait for some kind of a direction - and it happens. I get an angle, for instance, and it just appears, and I say, 'Oh my God - that's it!' ---->>>

I'm not an Expressionist. I love to look at de Kooning, but I've got this kind of secret life, and that is something that pleases me. I have to try and make something out of it. ---->>>

My earliest drawing is a supposed Carracci. It wasn't very expensive, I guess, because they don't know if it's a real Carracci. But it has all these seals on it of people who've owned it, and one of the great portrait painters of England, Reynolds, had owned it, so that's the earliest. ---->>>

My ideas come, wh-pheww. And I draw. Just recently, when I'm searching for ideas for paintings and sculptures, I wait for ideas, and it's always visual. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 05-31, 1923
Birthplace: Newburgh, New York, U.S.
Die: 2015-12-27
Occupation: Artist
Website:

Ellsworth Kelly (May 31, 1923 – December 27, 2015) was an American painter, sculptor, and printmaker associated with hard-edge painting, Color Field painting and minimalism. His works demonstrate unassuming techniques emphasizing line, color and form, similar to the work of John McLaughlin and Kenneth Noland (wikipedia)