• The Role of the Artist

    "The function of art is to give us an existential experience. In his music, painting, sculpture, and poetry we feel, we experience, and we respond. It is not an intellectual exercise. The highest moment of our lives, those of love and tragedy, are matters of the heart, of feeling. They are experiential. The pity of much modern life is that we do not know how to experience either love or tragedy. We are alienated from each other, and from our real selves. " 

    This is a quote from Rabbi Levi Olan in 1968 in a radio address he gave.

    I found it both inspiring and immensely insightful. 

    I painted this image at a time I was experiences great sorrow and anxiety, and Olan's quote reminded me of it.

  • Texas Jewish Arts Association Juried Show

    Two of my paintings were chosen to be exhibited in the first Texas Jewish Arts Association Juried Show. They can be seen until November 16 at the Jewish Community Center in Dallas at 7900 Northaven Road.

    This painting "Press Play" has a red dot! Sold the first hour.

    This painting of mine, Hallelujah, was also shown.

    Below is me and Veronique Jonas next to her beautiful sculpture.

  • The Stages of an Artist: Video

    I decided to make 'Stages of an Artist' when a friend recently asked me to show how my art has developed over time.

    This video is a way to answer that question. It is a chronological view of selected paintings to illustrate how my paintings have changed and evolved from about the year 2000 to present.

    Click the double arrows under the video to enlarge to full screen.

  • Art In The Garage

    Art In The Garage

    I recently sold two paintings to a client to be hung in what they call The Garage. In fact, it is unlike any garage you have ever seen. It houses a fabulous car collection, is designed with the latest modern amenities, and is full of modern abstract art.

    My painting "Beach Memories" is part of the collection.

  • MODARTISTS Gallery Opening

    MODARTISTS Gallery Opening

    Modartists Gallery had its grand opening last Saturday night, September 20. I was proud to have four paintings showcased in the exhibit. 

    The diptich shown in the photo above is titled Hallelujah.

    Take time to stop by to see the show. It will be up through October.

    The gallery is located at 2514 Converse Street, near the design district in Dallas.

  • The Plays the Thing


    The Plays the Thing

    Recently collectors of one of my paintings asked me write something for them, so they could better understand the thought process behind the painting. What were my emotions at the time, they asked.

    Often I am asked to describe how or why I paint. Or what inspires me. But this question was different. It was specific. What was happening beneath the surface for this very painting.

    I had actually completed the painting months earlier, so the request was that not simple. I would have to reach back and retrieve old memories and feelings, similar to trying to remember a dream the next day.
    Obviously not an easy task--but I said I would try.

    At the time I was working on this particular painting, I was experimenting with a number of different elements in my paintings. For some time I had been using fabrics as a collage element, but now I decided to focus on only black and white fabrics. Another new approach was to limit the ground of the painting to mostly one hue or color--in this case green.

    My prior series of works had contained many vibrant colors, often juxtaposed to each other. I was looking for a way to create a dramatic effect with less reliance on color.

    The other strong element in the painting is the use of many “found objects”, like jewelry, string, wool, buttons, and chards of pottery. I recently decided to use these things as collage pieces in my paintings because I liked the 3 dimensional textural quality they added.

    When I start a painting, I do not have a plan in mind, but rather let my intuition lead the way. The was certainly the case in this painting: “The Plays the Thing”.

    As I applied layers of paint and then let my brush flow, it looked very chaotic to me. I could not see where it was going. As I continued I added darker colors, like black and deep blue, sometimes throwing the paint to get random effects and emphasize the feeling chaos.

    When I glued on the black and white fabrics, the painting seemed more alive to me. At this point I began to think of composition and structure, but still could not see how I could make it work.

    Only when I began painting into the fabric did it seem to come together.

    But I liked the feeling of chaos and did want to lose that. So by collaging the “found objects’ on to the canvas and incorporating them into the composition I felt I could get a feeling of order and chaos at the same time.

    “The Plays the Thing” was a difficult process for me. There were many times the frustration was great, and I wanted to quit it. But I kept coming back to it. Something about it drew me in. And there was also many fun moments, like finding the right object, seeing connections between shapes, letting my imagination go wild.

    Originally, this was going to be 2 separate paintings, but about half way through I realized they were meant to be connected and seen together.
    There was a sense of completion when the canvases were seen as one whole work.

    I like to tell people that their own reaction and interpretation to my paintings is what is important. I hope the painting stimulates them to feel or think or see the world differently. And I hope that this painting does that for you.

  • Prize Winner

    The painting “Opposites Attract” was recently awarded an Honorable Mention Prize at a Dallas exhibit, sponsored by the Texas Visual Artists Association. There were 56 entries, so the prize is a wonderful honor.

    The show’s theme, In the Eye of the Beholder” focused on the question of what is beauty. I entered this painting because I felt it addressed that very question, what do people find attractive or beautiful.

    Many people have trouble understanding modern abstract art and question if it beautiful. The Eye of the Beholder featured many styles and types of art, suggesting that the viewer, or beholder, holds the key. How to they react and appreciate what they are seeing or eyeing.

    Though the piece, Opposites Attract, is rather small, only 18″x18″, I feel it has a power that resonates beyond it size.Opposites Attract_LR


    play by ear by esther ritz Play by Ear[/caption]

    My painting, Play by Ear, recently won a ribbon for Best in Show at the Texas Visual Artists Association show: "Collage, Printmaking, and Assemblage". It was quite a thrill and surprise, as I felt there were many talented artists and excellent works that were entered. Thank you to the judges and organizes for this wonderful recognition.

    When I created this art work about a year ago, I was concerned with the idea of play and freedom. I felt art should be fun, like a child has other words play... and that by allowing myself to play and have fun, I would be more free to express myself without restraints. It was a way to circumvent both the internal critic and my ideas about external expectations from others.

    I do think this piece has a very playful and fun feeling to it. Hope you enjoy it too.Img4610