Ellen Siebers

Artist Interview: Ellen Siebers


Ellen Siebers is a Midwestern painter who currently works as a lecturer in the Painting Department of UW Madison. Siebers received her MFA and MA from the University of Iowa and her BFA from UW Madison.  Siebers creates small-scale oil paintings, drawings and objects. She shows internationally; with recent solo shows at Beta Pictoris Gallery in Birmingham, Alabama and the Common Wealth Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin.  


What's involved in your process of art making?

My process requires daily attention; whether it is reading poetry or making a small drawing. My work is centralized around small daily happenings, so my process requires me to stay in-tune with the environment around me and make quick images that speak to that. All of the work currently made is from memory and I do not work directly from photographs. I figure the idea of photography is ingrained in my memory because of its ubiquitous nature. That's why I force myself to recall relationships and moments from memory, so that I feel a direct relationship with what the relationship may look like just through my mind's eye. These relationships often are expressed through the gesture of framing and the gesture of carving.  

What are you excited about right now?

I am excited about a book I started reading.  "Anterp" by Robert Bolaño. I recently reunited with some Charles Burchfield paintings and I feel really excited about those as well.  

What's next?

I never know exactly. More paintings and more drawings! And exploring the relationship between my paintings and styrofoam objects (the idea of the object) in more detail. I also have been working on small drawings on notecards, making one a day, and that has opened up things for me.