Larry Elliott was born on December 12, 1948 and is still living. He is a native of Madison. He has lived here most of his life. His father was an aluminum siding salesman. Larry is glad his father wasn't a famous artist because then he would have to live up to his father's reputation.
He didn't always want to be a artist. He was going to be a performing concert pianist. He studied piano at the Cincinnati Conservatory . He trained rigorously under Olga Conus and Paul Badura-Skoda. When his training was almost finished, his interests changed to visual arts.
After he took one drawing course, Larry taught himself how to paint. After a while he found his own style. Unlike some other painters, Larry takes his time on every detail. He spends many hours on each painting. Now he uses oil on masonite, building up the layers to add to the depth or detail seen in the painting. He has sold many paintings and has them showing at R.H. Love and other galleries.
The name of the artwork I am studying is "The Lemur's Query". The reason I picked this artwork is because it intrigues me, and we own the original. This gives me a chance to study it in great detail. When Larry paints, the steps he takes are: first, he sketches in the images that make up the theme for the painting; next, he paints over the sketches, and then he fills in much more detail.
The "Lemur's Query" has curved, graceful lines that form soft edged shapes. He has smooth textures and cool colors. He has many animals and Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass.
This painting is a bit asymmetrical. The focal point is in the upper right hand corner, a lemur. Most of the light areas are in the upper left hand corner , with another light area in the bottom left corner where the lemur is looking at the cat from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. They are both looking toward the light source. When you look into the painting, you can see what appears to be about three or four feet. Above the three feet you can see the sky.
The artist isn't trying to imitate nature. The name , if you think about it, intertwines with the meaning of the picture. The main purpose of the artwork is to make you think. Larry told me that the theme of the work lies in a quote from Alice...; "would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?", and the cat replies, "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to." I think this is a very outstanding artwork because it probes my mind with strange ideas and meanings using symbols familiar to me.
When I asked Larry what style of art he paints, he said that he paints magical realism. He has painted many examples of magical realism. Before that he painted somewhat more photo-realistically. Many of his paintings include characters from Through The Looking Glass. Magical realism and photo realism are different. In magical realism he adds a certain magical quality or "flourescence" to his paintings by color , detail and symbols. In photo realism the artist is just copying a picture.
I had the opportunity to see him paint a painting from beginning to end. It was his present work for the APT. It was very educational. I saw how he drew each figure combining them in a well balanced composition. After that he went in and added the exacting detail during many weeks of painting. I asked him if he liked his work, meaning painting. He said he loved it!