Monday, January 14, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Ellen Rhodes Moore

Ellen Rhodes Moore of Dallas, Texas, is this month's Spotlight Artist. If you would like to be in the spotlight, please email Anna at to submit your information. 
Artist Ellen Rhodes Moore

Interview with Spotlight Artist for January, Ellen Rhodes Moore:

1. How did you first became interested in art? I have been drawing and making art since I could hold a pencil. I used to get into my mother’s stationery, unlimited white paper...Yay! This was when I was very little and I got into lots of trouble for this! I majored in studio art in college but couldn't find a job doing art so I got into advertising.

2. Training? Mediums? Subject matter? I have a B.A. in art but that really hasn't helped me. I've taken classes with different artists my entire life and probably will continue to do this, to constantly try to improve my work. My first love is drawing; then I progressed to pastel and lastly to oils, which I find the most challenging and complex.

I love the human figure the most but will draw or paint anything that inspires me. I do representational work although that was TOTALLY not appreciated when I was in college.

3. What do you express in your art? I am an optimist and like to have pretty paintings
around me. I love colorful paintings just as I love color in my home. I used to worry
that my subject matter might seem trite, but now I think that my art is a reflection of
who I am. I am an earnest, sincere, loving person so I am fine with trite subject
matter......parents and children, ladies in gardens, all fine by me.

4. Artists who influence you: Mary Cassatt, Degas, J.S. Sargent, Manet, Van Gogh, Matisse, Frida Kahlo, Malcolme Leipke, Rob Liberace, Rose Frantzen, and Burt Silverman....and the list continues.

 5. How do you gain inspiration? Looking at other artist’s work or magazines can inspire me. But really anything can be inspirational- a music video or a photograph in the paper can launch an idea.

6. Where would you like to be ten years from now? I’d like to be more disciplined about making time for my art. I’d love to share my work with others in a show or whatever, but my real challenge has been organizing my time to make time for my work.

7. Do you set goals for yourself? I need to set smaller goals because I do set goals every year but haven’t met them. Other than broad goals like selling my art to someone other than friends or family. I would like to be represented by someone but I'm not sure a gallery is really the right match. That might be too stressful.

8. Are you happy with your career choice as an artist? Would you have done anything differently? That is a hard question to answer. I wish I had gone to Art Center College of Design in
California for college, which is where I wanted to go but my parents wouldn't send me -- that or Parsons School of Design in New York. For my art, I would have loved that. But I love my life and wouldn't have the family or children I have today if I had taken a different path. So, in that sense, I have no regrets.

My choice as an artist? There was no choice. Loving art and seeing the world through artistic eyes is like breathing for me so there was never a choice.

My greatest good fortune has been that my husband supports my art and has supported me financially so I can make the art I love, even though it has not been financially has been spiritually rewarding.

9. Any fun facts you'd like to share? The project that has been the most rewarding to me has been my recent “Fallen Soldiers Project”. I paint the portraits of fallen soldiers in the Iraq-Afghanistan war and give this painting to the family. I have met wonderful people and this has been a win-win situation for me. I get to paint portraits that are loved and appreciated and I get to thank God for my talent by paying it forward. And I get to honor the sacrifice a family has made for our country. Plus no one ever complains that “there is something wrong with the mouth”, as John Singer Sargent would say.

10. Do you have any advice for other artists? Find other artists to talk to about your struggles, goals and desires. We share common frustrations. If you keep a list of your goals, you may see over time that you have met some of them. I think it is human nature that we keep raising the bar on ourselves. Regarding my own art, I wish I had listened less to authority figures about what I “should do” and listened to my own voice more. Try not to compare yourself to others but compare yourself to your own work. Look for improvement in your own work over time to feel more satisfaction and less dissatisfaction.

Contact Information:
Ellen Rhodes Moore
Dallas, TX

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