This Friday, Nov. 23, at 10 a.m., artist Ellen Rice will begin taking visitors to her in-gallery studio on “A Pastel Journey” as her part of the kickoff of the two-day, Thanksgiving-weekend 24th annual SouthEastern Delaware Artists Studio Tour.
Her special “live” exhibit will feature completed works in a medium that, until this summer, she hadn’t used in 10 years, displayed in a unique way — with debuting pastels and their debuting prints, and prints of pastels from earlier years displayed side by side with her current oils of similar subjects.
“There are things I love — and don’t love — about both mediums,” said the Ocean View painter, whose seascapes, beach scenes, landscapes, portraits and inspirational paintings can be found in homes, offices, corporate, educational and government collections on four continents and in 14 countries.
“With pastels, I love the immediacy and glowing effects you can achieve with the smear of a finger, but I don’t love the dusty mess. Oils take much more time, and you can achieve more detail and incredible luminescence, but the fumes aren’t good to breath. Originals oils also have to be more expensive because of the time involved. My methods with each medium are similar and different.
“Perceptive visitors will feel the same spirit behind each painting or print on display — my heart, the thoughts behind each stroke as I make them — and they’ll also be able to see the differences created by the mediums. It’s an opportunity to compare many examples of pastels and oil paintings of similar subjects by the same artist at the same time and place. I hope everyone enjoys my pastel — and oil — journey.”
As an annual tradition, during the tour and for a week afterward for those who can’t go on the tour, Rice is giving a Thanksgiving gift to her collectors and newcomers in the form of special pricing on her debuting prints.
This year, all archival giclée, signed, numbered prints of Rice’s new pastels will be 25 percent off from Friday, Nov. 23, at the beginning of the tour through Sunday, Dec. 9, both in her gallery and on her website. The lowest print numbers will be reserved for those attending the tour, followed sequentially by those ordering online over the weekend.
“An artist’s work is often solitary work, and because of this I don’t always get to personally thank the people who help to make my career possible,” Rice said. “This is one way for me to say, ‘Thank you from the bottom of my heart’ in a tangible way. The bonus for me is getting to meet the people purchasing my work and say ‘thank you’ in person! I still find myself amazed at the journey so many have supported for so many years.”
Rice’s studio is No. 7 on the tour brochure map: the Ellen Rice Gallery, located 2.3 miles west of Bethany Beach at 111 Atlantic Avenue (Route 26), just west of her gallery’s original location and diagonally opposite Lord Baltimore Elementary School, in Coastal Plaza. Visitors can look for her yellow butterfly chairs, and bright red shutters and pillars, and follow the yellow flowerpots to the front door. Brochures are available throughout the area, including at the gallery, and online at artstudiotour.com.
Everyone is welcome to attend the tour, including children. Rice said she will have a small display of her childhood paintings and drawings on display to encourage budding young artists in their endeavors. Refreshments, in the form of her recipe for hot apple cider and fresh-baked coffee cakes, will be served. Comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended for those visiting multiple studios, she noted.
For more information, visit Rice’s website or call the gallery at (302) 539-3405 during regular hours: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Live driving instructions for Google map users are also available at www.ellenrice.gallery on the Contact page.