Ellen Kaiden attended the Philadelphia College of Art, where she studied painting with Will Barnett. Kaiden also studied at Beaux Arts in Paris, the Interlaken School in Lenox, Mass. and the Art Students League and New School in New York City. Today, Kaiden is a full-time painter, with studios in Sarasota and the Berkshires. Her work can be seen at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center this February and at the Roskamp Gallery in March as part of the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota’s Creators and Collectors tour. For more information, visit What draws you to watercolor? I love its uncontrollable, vitreous nature. I’m a spontaneous person and I love being able to capture movement in water and get extraordinary depth and color saturation. Watercolor is an underrated and
unforgiving medium.

Why is color so important in your work?
My work is all about color and light. I use the medium in a non-bashful way. I use color to tell a story and lead you through my paintings. Color creates mood and magic in my work.

How would you describe your artistic process?
It’s always an adventure, because I’m never quite sure where I’ll end up. Watercolor truly has a mind of its own and sometimes dictates to me. I
choose a subject that tells me a story, then choose the scale and manner
that helps me communicate what I want to say. Sometimes, I discover
what I am trying to say through painting.

Do you paint from imagination, life or both?
I start out painting from life and then my heart and my imagination
take over.

How would you describe your latest artistic direction?
I’ve arrived at a style I call “idealized realism.” My focus now is metaphor
and emotion. Life’s challenges and experiences have helped me become
a better artist. I mostly choose flowers and organic subjects because they
have no straight lines and have wonderful, eloquent personalities through
which I tell my story.

What drives you to create?
When I’m not painting I’m hungry to paint. My work is a place to go that
belongs just to me. When I’m painting, nothing else exists. I feel like a
privileged vehicle for such magic and am very grateful to have a place to
take my deepest emotions to.

What response do you want to spark in the viewer?
It’s funny, I can’t paint a depressing painting; emotional, yes, depressing,
no. I hope my paintings draw the viewer into my world of wonder. I would
like you to see my hope and optimism for the world. I would like you to see
the objects I paint in a way you’ve never seen them before and experience
their truth, form and sensuality.

Written by : ekaiden