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On The Town Magazine Article About Rose Ellis
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Capturing the Moment in Bubbles – The Art of Rose Ellis

Article by Dianne Carroll Burdick

Artist Rose Ellis, 53, will be displaying eleven new works in a two-person show at the Richard App Gallery, located at 910 Cherry St. SE. “The 4th Element” runs May 18—June 20 and the gallery is honoring the artists, Ellis with her oil paintings and Roli Mancera with his sculptures, during an opening reception May 18, 5—9 p.m.

Trained at Ferris State University’s Kendall School of Art & Design, and earning her studio art degree from the University of Michigan, Ellis is skilled in painting both small and large formats, exhibiting widely in the United States. Her work also is included in numerous public and private collections. During her career, she has lived and worked all over the world.

In the last year, she has discovered the idea of bubbles and the visual landscape within them. “I love being different!” Ellis said. She had “one of those walking-down-the-road-oh-my goodness-I-have-an-idea” moments. “The idea of bubbles popped into my head, and I have since proceeded to explore all the possibilities,” she said. When Ellis looked at the mosaic on the north side of the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, she saw the circles as bubbles.

After capturing 200—300 frames, she learns from photographing the bubbles. When there’s “no wind,” she said, “it’s easier to chase them around.” Noticing abstractions and reflections, cropping and color, depth and brilliance, her mind is full with possibilities. She learns what’s working, and explores the possibilities for her next painting. That decisive moment seen in a photographic digital image shows Ellis a fragility and a delicacy that she tries to convey in her paintings. “It’s all so temporary—the bubbles and what they capture.” She loves the idea of art of the moment and ending up with a permanent piece.

Randomness is now a big idea for Ellis. “I am watching all these young kids. The teenagers are really refreshing,” she said. “The best part of life for them is randomness. It’s a discovery, not a reworking of what everyone else has done. They are creating their world, randomly, and discovering new things.” Ellis has noticed there is a whole new instant notion of ideas through Facebook. “That Facebook input has been feeding some of the spirit and excitement going on in painting,” she said.

Ellis’s tools before she picks up the paint brush include a shelf of bubble-making wands and containers of bubble liquid and glycerin. She glows with excitement showing me this new gear. “Now I figured out how to pack bubbles for the airplane,” she said. The new idea earned her the ArtPrize placement at Huntington Bank in 2011 and a purchase award.

Her journey starts by looking at the real world and leaps to the surreal with the bubble view. The photographs are grounded in reality while the paint leans towards the surreal and then back to the real world of the finished painting. “I’m still chasing bubbles.”

See the On The Town article about Rose Ellis on M-Live