Ellen Dieter Returns to the Swift

Ellen Dieter Returns to the Swift
The Bay Park Paintings give a beautiful taste of home

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Early Fireworks: Ellen Dieter's "Brushes with Life" Show Closes with a Bang

Friday July 2nd marked the close of Dieter's three Month run at the Swift, and she closed with a public painting event, where she worked with regular colaborator Richard Messenger to do a large acrylic on canvas landscape over the course of the evening.

The two, along with the third partner Shahla Dorafshan (absent for this event) have been working in their simultaneous painting style (all three painting at the same time on the same canvas or paper) for long enough to develop a strong improvisational flow that is a delight to watch.
It was exhilirating to see the free running dialog between Ellen and Richard, speaking through gesture and action, two highly acomplished painters supporting and responding to each other's lines, colors, shapes and mood.
A special highlight of the mid evening was the two painters stepping back and inviting members of the gallery visiting public come into the Expressive Arts Institute Studio to join in the painting. In this way it became a collaboration of more than ten artists (even I contributed a few small gestures). Then as the evening drew close to an end, a masterful translation of the now widely varied canvas began under the skilled brushes of Richard and Ellen. As they stood back, one more artist, only 18 months old entered in his fathers arms and added some amazing yellow highlights to the center of the canvas.
With those completing strokes in place, we cleared away the paints and dropcloths and rehung the fresh piece on the studio wall. It was an amazing record of the evening that had passed and a testament to the strength of the collaborative process between Ellen and Richard that the canvas ended up coherent and impactful. As we look towards future shows, this show sets the gold standard for public engagement in the patrons of the Swift. Thanks to all who attended, painted and witnessed the unfolding images.


  1. Great blog and looks like a wonderful gallery. I would like to see your mission comments pop off the page more vividly because they are noble aims! What great work you've done...will have to visit!
    Jenny C, Vancouver, BC

  2. Thank-you Wes! what a great evening it was! I am so full of gratitude for OUR collaboration!!!