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Northrup King Building

1500 Jackson Street Northeast
Minneapolis, MN
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Much of my work might be characterized by pattern, repetition and layering of pencil strokes, tone and object abstractions on paper. At the root of my work is a fascination with the quality of line, mark, and stroke of the pencil or brush on the page. I apply tone to paper using pencil as well as a variety of brushes including fingerprint and makeup. I think of my work as a spiritual practice. I strive to create a pencil stroke or gesture that is “alive” in much the same way the Zen calligrapher creates a line that is “alive” by focusing the mind.

An ever-present influence in the images I create is wabi-sabi. Often associated with the aesthetic of the Japanese tea ceremony, wabi-sabi recognizes beauty in the imperfect, worn, aged, faded, simple or crude. I often strive for a look of faded tone or an imperfect wash in my work. The small areas of paper where no tone is deposited by the brush or pencil fascinate me.

Less obvious in my work, yet present, are the role of memory, recollection and the subtle atmosphere of familiarity that is created in my mind as I work. I continue to find inspiration in the paintings of the Abstract Expressionists I discovered as a child; Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Arshile Gorky, Joan Mitchel, Franz Kline and on and on. My work is forward looking while being informed by my earliest impressions of art.


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Eric Ketelsen is open on Friday, Saturday & Sunday of Art-A-Whirl weekend.

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Eric Ketelsen takes commissions.

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