One October Sunset

One October Sunset, pastel, 12" x 12"

Ellen Wagener served as Adjunct Professor and Visiting Artist in several Iowa colleges; however, as demonstrated by her rapidly growing numbers of exhibitions and of works in private and public collections, her primary focus is creating her serenely still landscapes.

The pastels of Wagener are distinctive, evocative, and popular with both urban and rural collectors. Although she often does her studies on site —sometimes from the top of her van —and her finished studio works are easily recognizable as rows of corn or beans, her landscapes seem to exist in an endless twilight or dawn of a time not quite now. Her well-tended fields are devoid of human forms; and, above them, vast skies —clouds stretching to distant horizons —glow with a slightly eerie light.

After attending Marycrest in Davenport and the University of Iowa, Wagener finished her formal study at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC. and returned to settle in the small town of DeWitt where she is deliberately surrounded by nature. Believing in the power of the landscape to transform, she says of her work: “My mission as an artist is to present the ordinary in a way that avows majesty in quietness. I don’t seek the spectacular.”

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on June 24, 2005

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