Currently showing posts tagged abstract

  • 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.

  • Esther Ritz Short Biography

    esther ritz bio dallas artist

    Esther Ritz, born New York City, has been working as a painter in Dallas and Santa Fe for the last 12 years. She is a lifelong painter, mostly self educated, but has studied at intensive workshops with French and American master painters.


    She is represented by the Haley-Henman Gallery in Dallas, and has had 2 solo shows under their sponsorship, as well as participated in their group shows.


    She has also had a solo show in Santa Fe at the Read Johnson Gallery.


    In addition she has shown at numerous local venues such as the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Bath House Cultural Center, AlSo Gallery, 500X and many of the TVAA group shows. She has been selected to participate in 3 TVAA Citation Juried National Shows and the Creative Arts Center juried show in 2011.


    In 2010 her work was juried and selected to be in the national magazine Studio Visit.


    Her numerous corporate and individual collectors are found throughout the U.S.

  • Texas Visual Arts Association in the News

    contemporary artist dallas

    I have been a member of the Texas Visual Arts Association (TVAA) for several years and find it an excellent way for an emerging artist to get exposure for their  art work.


    The TVAA is a nonprofit organization organized and administered by local artist. It sponsors monthly exhibitions for its members, both at its downtown Gallery location and other venues in Dallas. 


    It is also a great way for local artists to meet and support each other.


    I am fortunate to have been selected to show in 2 upcoming TVAA exhibitions. The Collage Exhibition opens on November 1, 2012 at their downtown Gallery at Plaza of the Americas. It runs all month through November 30. I will be exhibiting 3 works from my Mix and Match series.


    I am very excited that one of my works, Press Play, was chosen to be part of the TVAA annual Citation show. This is a juried show and only 60 pieces are selected, so it is quite an honor. The Citation show is from November 6 to December 14, 2012 and is at the PFamily Arts of Plano at 4017 Preston Rd. #544 LakeSide Market Plano, Tx.


    For more information on both these events go to


    contemporary artist dallas

  • The Painting Experience

    For several years I have attended a wonderful workshop in Molokai Hawaii called the Painting Experience. The workshop is not a traditional painting class at all. There is no instruction about how to paint, or how to mix colors even.

    Instead, it is a time of inner exploration. Anyone can take part in these workshops, whether or not they “know” how to paint. That is because the act of making a painting is treated more like an exercise in meditation.

    Participants work silently, standing before their paper, and letting their inner most thoughts and feelings be expressed by the paint. There is no judgment or interpretation of the painting. Rather it is a time to explore and expand oneʼs mind.

    As a painter I find the process fulfilling. It has enabled me to be open to new directions. My creative juices are stimulated in ways that are exciting and new.

    For more information about the workshop see:


  • Where to Find Inspiration As An Artist

    I am often asked where I find inspiration for my art work. Surprisingly, the answer is often from other art.


    By frequently going to galleries and museums I am inspired by the creativity I see. I experience the energy and flow in the art works and that in turn enables me to tap into my own creativity.



    A few artists and their work come to mind as good examples.


    One is Elliot Hundley, a contemporary artist. His works were shown last year at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. His use of materials was an inspiration for me.  Although my work is usually abstract, I liked his use of many different materials, layered over paint, to create unusual effects.


    Another artist who inspired me is a contemporary abstract artist from France, Tiebaut de Rempre. Although his palette is more subdued, I like his freedom of expression, his use of line, and his strong energy.


    A very famous contemporary abstract artist, William de Kooning (first painting above), is known for his strong energetic use of paint and broad brush strokes. This too inspired me.


    Inspiration can come from unexpected places and art, so I keep looking.





  • 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

  • Esther Ritz Exhibits at Covens Contemporary Gallery


    Double Dip by Esther Ritz Double Dip by Esther Ritz[/caption]

    Murray Covens Contemporary is presenting Esther Ritz's art in a solo exhibition, "Seriously Playful", with the  opening reception from 7 to 10 pm, Feb. 8, 2014.

    The exhibition will feature a selection of her abstract expressionist paintings. This body of work exemplifies the strength and breadth of her art in which bold color, line and collage all play a part. The freedom of imagination, the flow of the paint, the power of the unconscious all come together in a process that can astonish and surprise.

    The show will run from Feb. 3, 2014 through March 14, 2014.

    Murray Covens Contemporary is conveniently located in the Dallas Design district at 154 Glass Street, Dallas, Tx. 75207.

    For information Katie Covens, gallery director, can be contacted at 469 726 2423, or Esther Ritz at

    You and your friends are cordially invited to this art show. Hope to see you there!


  • Fort Worth Community Art Center

    IMG_1537 IMG_1533 IMG_1535


    Recently, I was privileged to be part  of the first exhibition of the Texas Jewish Art Association. This is a newly formed group and this exhibition showed the range, depth and quality by this group of artists. The Fort Worth Community Art Center is in the heart of the cultural district in Ft. Worth, situated among its famous museums, including the Amon Carter, the Kimball and Modern Museums. I exhibited the above 2 paintings in the show. It was an honor to participate and recommend a visit to Ft. Worth to see this exciting show.