Thursday, September 13, 2018

Featured Exhibitor: Ellen Diederich


Ellen Diederich is a painter who creates work with love and care in every brush stroke. Her studio, Givinity Press, produces stunning reproductions of her original paintings as cards, prints, and even a children's book. Although she paints a wide range of subject matter, the common elements of light, color, detail, and movement connect them together to showcase Ellen's unique style and perspective. 



Who are you and what do you do?

I am a Neo-Impressionistic painter who works in watercolor and acrylic. I love color and am told I have a gifted palette, but mostly I put love into my paintings of flowers, architecture, domestic animals, and more recently, landscape. This spring I painted the lakes, boating, and landscape painting as well as my regular subjects.

Will you be featuring any special holiday items?

My painting “Over the Hills We Go” is available as a Christmas card and a giclee reproduction. Several Christmas card styles are available. My blank note cards are beautifully packaged and always make a nice gift. “Samson’s Gift,” a beautiful gold medal award winning children’s book I wrote and illustrated, shares the joy of giving featuring “Samson” an orphaned lamb, is an ideal Christmas story for the whole family to read together.


What was your first memory of making something?

In grade school I remember drawing houses with curtains in the windows, flowers, and detailed bushes in front. To draw the bushes, I kept splitting the branches over and over and putting on colorful leaves. Trees, leaves, branches, flowers, and even stems still fascinate me. I didn’t learn how to draw animals until I took life drawing classes and learned to understand underlying bone structures. It surprised me that so many people love my farm animal pieces. I just wanted to paint them, and didn’t really think they would sell. I guess sharing your love is key.


Have you always been passionate about art and design?

Yes, my high school art teachers were amazing and gave me a terrific start. Being horribly shy, painting gave me a tinge of confidence that grew. My addiction to creating more makes me work on my marketing so I can keep on making new pieces.


What do your customers love most about your products?

My customers tell me they love the color, the whimsy, and the beauty. It may really be the connections between these things as that is what I work on most.

What’s your favorite item that you sell?

That is a tough one. My favorite paintings continue to get a pat on the back every time I sell another. When people remember them and ask for them I know I really have something. Overall, selling the original art is the most fulfilling to me as you meet someone who truly values the work you do and wants it in its most authentic form.

What do you think sets your design apart from others?

When I paint, I want to feel free and not fussy so I use a 1” flat brush which acts almost like a calligraphy pen. On top of that, I make it an effort to not let you be aware of the brush and turn it like I am actually painting on the subject from my angle of view. This is what gave me my personal style. My brushwork is solid in my watercolors even though it blends together, but in Acrylic it really stands out.


How does the city you live in influence your work?

I love architecture and flowers. We had vegetables and animals on the farm and didn’t have time or money for flowers. The people in Fargo appreciate that I paint our beautiful city. Buildings mean so much to people, and many personal, historic stories get shared in front of building paintings. Playing with the light on the strong geometric shapes is very exciting.

Where do you see your business in 3 years?

I hope to explore painting even more. With development, I hope my sales of products such as cards, and reproductions, licensing, and books will keep my staff busy so I can devote myself to a continued exploration though I do like interacting with clients. Teaching painting is also a love of mine and keeps me focused on the basics.

Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting story behind it?

Givinity Press is what I use for publishing with its catch phrase- “Giving Divine Images to You”. I came up with it because people have trouble spelling my name and I didn’t know the internet would eventually ask….”did you mean Ellen Jean Diederich?” I wanted to be a giving company, and the best parts of my paintings just show up and I can’t take credit for that. I also have EllenJean as some customers have told me they were intimidated to contact this big corporation (which I am not).


Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?

Failure is part of creativity. If I’m too careful, I get scared and creativity goes down the drain. One great thing about being a painter is that when you fail, you can stick the piece in a closet and no one has to see it. You can learn from the good parts and try it again.


What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

Rejection is part of the art business. It is painful, but at least people are noticing you. There will be tons of it at the beginning. Keep going and listen and look at what viewers make an effort to tell you. Repeated messages should be analyzed. But most of all listen to your inklings and trust them….give yourself permission to do the things you want and keep trying until you get there.



Check out more of Ellen's work online, and be sure to stop by her booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 2-4, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!


Posted by Admin at 9:58 AM  ⁙  3 COMMENTS

CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors
McKenna Wegner  ⁙  Tuesday October 30, 2018 @ 1:35 PM

Ellen does absolutely incredible work. Looking forward to seeing her new work at this years show.
Darin Henze  ⁙  Thursday October 25, 2018 @ 10:11 PM

I love Ellen’s artwork. She absolutely portrays the “look” of animals and flowers, architecture and landscapes. I am constantly amazed at how I will be traveling and come upon a seen and think “Oh that looks like one of Ellen’s paintings. She portrays the actual look of what I see.
Jackie Jandt  ⁙  Thursday October 25, 2018 @ 7:45 PM

Ellen has a nature talent that she has grown and developed over time. Her talents range from painting in both water color and acrylic to writing, illustrating, and publishing books her books. I enjoy her floral paintings, animals, and scenery. I plan on visiting her booth at the show.