Paintings by Ethan Cranke

For all collecting/price inquiries, my email account is:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Artist Statement and Biography

Artist Statement-  
Only after the painting has happened upon its own “natural” composition, via extemporaneous application, reduction, and deconstruction, neither painted from life nor one particular resource photo (more so being a “collage of the mind,” if you will), do I begin to initiate focal points by adding more brilliant chroma. When initiating focal points via chroma, I often choose extremely strong and vibrant colors; colors like sevres blue, permanent green, and cobalt violet. Although I am an artist from California, I would say it is the ubiquity of the West Coast Colorist palette that keeps me from using it, anymore. Where the intentions of the 1950’s action painters and my own intentions run divergent, is that I do not “discard traditional aesthetic references as irrelevant.” Such restrictions seem rather absurd and unnecessarily limiting in scope, when applied to present aesthetic concerns(especially my own). Being that we truly live in the age of “anything goes,” to place such limitations upon one’s aesthetic is an antiquated strategy. To “exercise in (my)himself a constant No.” is to deny myself any chance of transmutation, and to be condemned to endless repetition. This runs contrary to my aesthetic goals.
     Harmonious scenes, pleasing color combinations, i.e. “believable” but still obviously made with paint, are my preference. I would say that although I am fully capable of making paintings that disguise the fact that they were made with paint, this is not my forte. As has always been the case, I inherently gravitate towards painterly paintings when visiting galleries and museums. Yes, I could design paintings in Photoshop, or on an Ipad, and print them out, or show them on a display screen(and I can see myself doing this when I am older, and no longer physically able to navigate a panel), but I still have much to do with paint, first. In a world where everyone walks around in their own little bubble, there is a tactility to paint that I think many daily routines lack. A completely hand made work of art, from the making of the panel to the laying on of paint, results in the type of object that I think becomes more and more important in a world of hyper-reproduction, and virtual living.
     I like paintings that remove me from the noise that we are surrounded by. I find David Hockney’s work, in his further continuance of classic motifs, integrated within contemporary archetypes of gesture, color preferences, as well as narrative content to be exemplary, and seek to achieve something similar. He ignores aesthetic trends, while maintaining a perpetually contemporary feel to his work. Unafraid to paint completely non-representationally in one painting, then a landscape in the next, a portrait, and so on. Like Hockney, I know that it is important to embrace the current time within which I reside, while maintaining constant awareness of lessons from those who have preceded me in the past. Gerhard Richter is also someone whom I admire and take influence from, in his willingness to go where the aesthetic initiative takes him, also unconcerned with fashionable trends, and more concerned with the transmutation of himself as a painter and artist in general. His content is his own, and no one categorizes him into any genre of painting, other than, painting. This modus operandi, with regards to his transmutation as an artist, is where I take my cues from.
     After looking at my paintings, I would like the viewer to walk away with a quiet moment, where their brain stops crunching links, apps, appointments, etc., where they are able to remember what it is like to think clearly, and let the mind absorb. My goal is to stop them in their tracks, for them to enjoy the fact that I got them to shut up, if even just for a second.
Artist's Biography- 
Born in San Francisco, Ethan Cranke was raised in Sonoma County, both aesthetically and intellectually, on the values prominently associated with Northern California. With an emphasis on free-spirited creativity that is anchored in a devotion to nature and humanity, Ethan conveys what is around and inside of him almost exclusively through the medium of oil paint. Ethan has painted ever since he can remember. His intentions became serious when he first encountered his earliest mentor, Elfi Chester. She was a good friend and a great painter, whose advice he has dearly missed since she passed away July 16, 2004. She made clear that it was perfectly viable for a person to spend their life as a professional artist, rather than as a hobbyist. He left the comforts of the West Sonoma County redwoods, in 1997, to study painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. There he was allowed to thoroughly explore his medium, mostly under the guidance of Bruce McGaw (of the Bay Area Figurative Movement) and Jeremy Morgan. Having returned to Sonoma County in 2002, he has been painting full time at his Guerneville studio ever since.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Artist CV

Ethan Cranke



Born in San Francisco, 1978.


BFA 2001 Painting San Francisco Art Institute
1996 Santa Rosa Junior College
1996 Attended CSSSA at CalArts for Summer Session

Areas of Specialization: Painting, Drawing, Monoprinting, Experimental Film, and Performance.

Professional experience:

Fall 2011 Guest painting instructor for “Arts With Elders,” held in San Francisco at The Sequoias and Western Park Apartments.

2001-08 High School and Junior High Substitute teacher, Sonoma County Office of Education

Spring 2005 Interim full time English Teacher for Spring Semester, at El Molino High School, while teacher was on sick leave. I developed and implemented original lesson plans, lectures, projects, and final exams.

Fall 2004 Interim full time Art Teacher for Fall Semester, at El Molino High School. Implemented orignal lesson plans, lectures, projects, and final exams.

1996 California Art Scholar Award
1997-2001 Merit Scholarship SFAI
2000 Materials Grant SFAI

Exhibition Record:

Petaluma Valley Hospital Group Show
November 2013 - February 2014
“Art Around Town”

Solo Show
June - August 2013 | D & G Equity Management | Guerneville, CA

Twitter-Art-Exhibit Group Show II
April - May 2012 | Moss Women‘s Crisis Center | Moss, Norway
“140 Characters”

The New York Group Show
Dec. 28, 2011 - Jan. 1, 2012 | Kianga Ellis Projects | Brooklyn
"I am the judge. I am the jury."
Rebellion & Empowerment in Contemporary Art

#KEP Santa Fe Group Show
July 25-31, 2011 | Kianga Ellis Projects | HD3 on 560 Montezuma Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico
“Everything and Everyday”

Twitter-Art-Exhibit Group Show
Nov 2010 - Jan 2011| Moss Children’s Library | Moss, Norway
“140 Characters”

Driftwood Salon Group Show
February 6- March 4, 2010 | Driftwood Salon Gallery | 39 Isis St., San Francisco, California
“The Preview”

Petaluma Arts Center Group Show
Sept 30-Nov 6, 2010| Petaluma Arts Center | 230 Lakeville Street, Petaluma, California
“El Día de los Muertos”


April 2010, Publication: Modern Painters Magazine, Article: “Modern Painters Salon,” pg. 12. Contents included my contributions to dialogue regarding the “death of painting.”


Kianga Ellis Projects “Art Talk, Santa Fe,” July 30, 2011(#KEPSantaFe), Santa Fe, New Mexico. One of a three person panel. Topics included further discussion of my “Fire Man“ series (on display in the show) as well as the works of other contemporary artists guest speaking on the panel. As a team we spoke to the audience with regard to our experience of intertwining social media and art, followed by a Q & A with the audience, participating both in the gallery and watching live via internet streaming. Archived footage can be viewed at:

Technical Abilities:

As I am a skilled artist and oil painter, I possess a full and complete knowledge of the tools, materials, and methodologies of the medium; as well as those of acrylics, watercolor, pen and ink, charcoal, and graphite. I have experience in mono-printing, and am familiar with how to work a press. I have made art films using found footage, super 8, and 16 mm. I have played guitar since the age of five, and piano since my teenage years. As a composer I write original songs and lyrics.


My work is now in the possession of a variety of private collections.