In this episode, I met up with Ellen Moershel and Mick Tresemer, two visual artists based in Colorado. I first encountered them this summer while they were live painting at a concert in Boulder, and we caught up in October. The two of them have been friends since attending art school in Oklahoma, and they originally started collaborating on artwork by sending drawings and paintings to each other through the mail. Ellen & Mick both say since collaborating, their painting styles have shifted. I ask them to describe their individual styles, and we quickly dive down a rabbit hole talking about organic versus geometric painting.
One of the paintings Ellen & Mick collaborated on via snail mail (top)
An untitled collaborative painting (bottom)
Both of them brought sketchbooks to our coffee meeting, and we talk about creating work in the moment versus revisiting past ideas. Ellen says they’re both improvisational and reactionary painters, which in addition to their friendship, makes their collaboration work. They share a secret with me… oops paint! Both say that with visual art, it’s impossible to run out of ideas, as the possibilities for different mediums are endless. For Mick, he says he's just scratching the surface of what he can do with climbing rope as a medium.
Ellen (top) and one of her paintings, "Valdez" (bottom)
They talk about being inspired by abstract shapes and color in nature. When I ask about the community of people they surround themselves with, they both note that they don’t interact with a lot of visual artists, but rather have friends who work in the sciences, conservation, and music. The conversations they have with folks outside of visual art influence their work. They both think that travel and exposure fuels their art, and that it’s important to gain different perspectives, either from peers or experiences. They’ve both been full time artists, and talk about juggling their art making with other jobs and responsibilities. We chat about the cost of a work of art and how people often assume it should be lower than its worth. We also talk about one of my favorite conundrums – how much an art institution is or isn’t willing to compromise on the presentation of the work in order to be accessible to a variety of audiences.
Mick in his happy place (top)
A 3D eyeball made from used climbing rope (bottom)