The Best Ellsworth Kelly quotes

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This post is about the life of American artist, Ellsworth Kelly. Over his long and successful career, he has created an impressive body of work that includes painting, sculpture, drawing and printmaking. In addition to his art, Kelly has also been a dedicated teacher, passing along his knowledge to students throughout his career. This post will explore some of the most important moments in Kelly’s life and discuss how they have influenced his art.

We are glad to present you the best Work, Color quotes from Ellsworth Kelly, and much more.


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About Ellsworth Kelly

birth of the author

May 31, 1923

death of the author

December 27, 2015

country of the author


education of the author

Pratt Institute École Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux-Arts School Of The Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston

knownfor of the author

Known For:
Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking

award of the author

Praemium Imperiale


Time has always been very important in my work. — Ellsworth Kelly

I felt that everything is beautiful, but that which man tries intentionally to make beautiful; that the work of an ordinary bricklayer is more valid than the artwork of all but a very few artists. — Ellsworth Kelly

All my work begins with drawings. — Ellsworth Kelly

All my work comes from perceiving. I kept seeing things that were brooding in me. I’m not a geometric artist. — Ellsworth Kelly

time has always been very important in my work Ellsworth Kelly quote

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. — Ellsworth Kelly

I’m constantly investigating nature–nature, meaning everything. — Ellsworth Kelly

I think that if you can turn off the mind and look only with the eyes, ultimately everything becomes abstract. — Ellsworth Kelly


I don’t like mixed colors that much, like plum color or deep, deep colors that are hard to define. — Ellsworth Kelly

I always felt that a painted edge between two colors was a depiction somehow. — Ellsworth Kelly

i always felt that a painted edge between two colors was a depiction somehow Ellsworth Kelly quote

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. — Ellsworth Kelly

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. — Ellsworth Kelly

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. — Ellsworth Kelly

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

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. — Ellsworth Kelly

Inspiring Phrases From Ellsworth Kelly

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!’ — Ellsworth Kelly

When I see a white piece of paper, I feel I’ve got to draw. And drawing, for me, is the beginning of everything. — Ellsworth Kelly

I don’t labor over my drawings. I want to get freedom in the line. — Ellsworth Kelly

In drawing, I don’t erase. I believe the original gesture has to be the best. — Ellsworth Kelly

Geometry is moribund. I want a lilt and joy to art. — Ellsworth Kelly

i don t labor over my drawings i want to get freedom in the line Ellsworth Kelly quote

Each drawing that I’ve done, I have found. Meaning, I see a plant I want to draw. — Ellsworth Kelly

Redundant Thematics

In Ellsworth Kelly Statements


I’m not interested in the texture of a rock, but in its shadow. — Ellsworth Kelly

Various Statements From Ellsworth Kelly

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

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. — Ellsworth Kelly

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. — Ellsworth Kelly

i have a sort of inner sense for scale Ellsworth Kelly quote

I have a sort of inner sense for scale. — Ellsworth Kelly

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. — Ellsworth Kelly

My drawings have to be quick. If they don’t happen in 20 minutes or a half hour, then they’re no good. — Ellsworth Kelly

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. — Ellsworth Kelly

More Phrases From Ellsworth Kelly

The most pleasurable thing in the world, for me, is to see something and then translate how I see it. — Ellsworth Kelly

the negative is just as important as the positive Ellsworth Kelly quote

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.’ — Ellsworth Kelly

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. — Ellsworth Kelly

The negative is just as important as the positive. — Ellsworth Kelly

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