Richard C. Elliott (to our family; Dick) is my uncle. He and his wife Jane Orlemon are (/were… Dick lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in 2008 and we miss him dearly!) artists that moved to Ellensburg Washington and began with some friends, a really rich artist community in the late 70’s. Both Dick and Jane are successful artists. Very different in style and scope but both 100% pure artists. I will be doing my post on Jane soon… Watch for it! But this post is about Dick.
Let me tell you a little bit about why my uncle Dick meant so much to me and still does even though he is no longer here. Both of my parents love me dearly and accept me as a creative spirit, but, it took some years to convince them that i had no choice but to be an artist. They thought it could be a hobby but nobody makes a living at being an artist so i needed to pursue more employable lines than art. Dick told me otherwise. Right when i would be questioning my decisions most it seemed. He understood that sometimes one doesn’t have the choice to not be an artist and figuring out a way to make it work is the job. Thus, Dick and Jane both were my mentors and role models as working artists themselves.
You may not be as familiar with Richard C. Elliott’s work by name, but if you have been in Washington, Chicago, Denver, New York and many other places, you may have seen his work. Dick was commissioned to do large scale art in public places and not as much in galleries.
Dick was one of the most amazing charcoal portrait artists i have ever seen. The problem was, he hated doing them. They were too restrictive and he was too much of a perfectionist. He found his medium with… of all things… reflectors. Now dont snub your nose just yet. He used roadside reflectors in basic colors, sometimes as many as 5 layers deep to create geometric patterns. I see a lot of north pacific coast Native American influences in his work, but i also know that he was interested in pattern in culture and researched this with many cultures and time periods. It is just best to allow you to see his gift to us yourself to do his work justice. His website http://www.reflectorart.com is still maintained by Jane who is flourishing still even without her partner in art, life and love. It is definitely worth a look!
I hope you enjoy this little clip showcasing some of his work. I am proud to be able to share it with you!
Oh yeah… Yes. They actually had 2 dogs named spot at different times ;).