LOE: Tell us about your painting.
EK: I do it full time, in my studio here in Sarasota and in one I have in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. I am also the chairperson of two juried art shows, Art in the Park at University Park Country Club, now in its 6th year and Feminart in Lenox, MA.
LOE: How did you get involved with art?
EK: I studied it originally with the intent to devote my life to art, but sold real estate and was in management in New Jersey for 20 years and managed Richard’s practice for another five. I really didn’t become a professional artist until Richard got me back into it. He knew if he could get me to pick up a brush, I would never put it down. He was right. I sold my first painting shortly thereafter, in 1992. He is my muse.
LOE: Where did you study painting?
EK: I attended Philadelphia College of Art and studied painting with Will Barnett. I also studied privately with Herbie Rose in Sarasota, Johanna Salomon in Bergen County, New Jersey. I have also studied at Beaux Arts, Paris, France, the Interlaken School in Lenox, Massachusetts and the Art Students League and the New School in New York.
LOE: Where can we see your painting?
EK: I have some displayed on my web site at www.ellenkaiden.com and I will also have a show at Holley Hall in Sarasota in February.
LOE: Richard, what are you doing now that you have retired from the practice of ophthalmology?
RK: Oh, I do some sculpture for relaxation but I am not a serious artist. I enjoy getting involved in community activities, tennis, golf and being supportive of Ellen’s artistic and community endeavors. I also was on a recent medical mission to Russia which was immensely satisfying.
LOE: What do you do when you are not painting?
EK: I am a fanatical tennis player. Tennis fits very well with my art because it allows me to burn off my excess energy early in the day and then settle down to the painting I love to do. I am also involved in UNIFEM, the United Nations Fund for Women and support candidates for public office who share my ideas and values.
LOE: Tell us about your home and your life in Sarasota.
EK: I have my studio here and spend a lot of time in it, painting several days a week. Our home is also a great place to display not only my own works but those of the other artists we enjoy like Leroy Neiman. Richard and I think Sarasota is a fantastic place to pursue the arts. We’re very satis- fied with our life here. The culture is not Broadway, but if you can appreciate it for what it is, it can be very good. We also enjoy our two dogs Beau and Derek, who was named after Derek Jeter. 8 Living Out East
LOE: Do you have family nearby?
EK: Not nearby, but Richard and I have five kids together in our blended marriage and they visit us when they can. All are three years apart. They are Jonathan 39, a lawyer and investment banker, Douglas, 36, an ER physician, Amy, 33, a pharmacy sales rep., Daniel, 30 a furniture entrepreneur and Elizabeth Rose, 27, who sells art for the Home Shopping Network. We also have four grandchildren in New York, ranging from age one to 12.
LOE: Do you take commissions?
EK: Yes. painting commissioned works is among my favorite activities. It is a great feeling to be able to meet a client’s needs.
LOE: What do you hope to accomplish from here on?
EK: That’s a good question. My career is starting to take off. I’ve worked hard to establish myself as a well-known local artist. I will never be a Florida artist—no palms or alligators. Little by little, I would like to be better known. Ultimately, I paint for the soul. I know time is precious and I have to devour each day. I also plan on being more active in politics, government and women’s rights.