Timothy C. Ely

Timothy Ely was born in the Snohomish General Hospital in 1949. Truman was president. On the site of the hospital now stands the new version of The Snohomish Public Library. Tim became a voracious reader at a young age. A sympathetic teacher [who also taught him to draw] would lead him often back into that public library [a fine old Carnegie building] where tales of pirates, Tesla coils, maps, flying saucers and back issues of Scientific American and Popular Mechanics would begin to tarnish the goals set for him by the rest of the family. In this library he began to explore images in the worlds of science fiction and comic books.

Following high school and tenure in several local area rock bands, Ely enrolled at Everett Community College following luminaries such as Chuck Close and Donn Trethewey by several years. This was just after the summer of love [1967] and a time of extraordinary fertility in painting. Ely was perfectly placed.

With painting a primary interest and an awareness that design was the grounding language, Ely pursued a degree in fine art. A number of chance remarks by teachers began to gradually orient Ely towards the inherent duality in the forms of the book.

There were no opportunities for study in that area, but the pull of the idea of the book as as aesthetic carrier was a potent and inspiring image. Following graduate school [MFA Design 1975] Ely began a self-motivated study of bookbinding. He began to fabricate the work he is known for today, a fusion of largely English-style binding techniques with visionary drawings of an unknowable future.

He has received numerous awards. With an NEA grant [1982] he traveled to Japan, Italy and England, studying bookbinding and papermaking. Following this he moved to New York, where he established a studio and also taught at the Center for Book Arts. During this decade in New York, he traveled to Europe, Central America and Scandinavia lecturing, exhibiting and teaching. He has had numerous solos exhibitions and has participated in many group exhibitions. His two most recent exhibitions were at the Jundt Museum of Art and The Northwest Museum of Art and Culture. His work is collected planet wide and is held in public, private and secret collections.

Tim currently lives in Eastern Washington near the Colfax River. He is represented by Lux Mentis Booksellers in Portland, ME. 

For more information, visit www.TimothyEly.com.

Also read Tim’s “artist’s journey” posts for more about developing the skills and vision for creating his unique one-of-a-kind books:

My Artist’s Journey. Part 1.
My Artist’s Journey, Part 2:  The Atlas
My Artist’s Journey Part 3:  Skills and Quality
My Artist’s Journey Part 4:  Philip Smith


Doug Garnett — Co-Conspirator

Though nearly born in New Jersey, Doug Garnett’s family returned to their home country in time for him to be born at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and raised in Boulder, Colorado. Professionally, he started in music, received degrees in mathematics, studied english history and soviet science fiction along the way and adventured in the 1980s aerospace industry of Southern California. Working on rockets and the Space Shuttle weren’t enough — so Doug moved to marketing and sales where he has sold supercomputers, marketed all types of consumer products, and even directed national television commercials. Along the way, Doug studied drawing and painting to explore the visual side of life.

Now living in Portland, Oregon, Doug and Tim connected in the 1990s through Doug’s wife — artist Judith Quinn Garnett — when she studied with, and assisted, Tim in his studio classes. Just over a year ago, Doug started developing a documentary about Tim Ely’s work (more on this project in the future).

One thing led to another and Doug helped resurrect Tim’s long-defunct blog. Part editor and part co-conspirator (assisted greatly through proofreading support from Randall Hankins), Doug and Tim conspire on the posts for the blog.

Doug closed his ad agency a year ago to focus on the marketing of innovative new products through teaching, writing, consulting, and a few ad campaigns. His new company is Protonik, LLC. In addition to working with this blog, Doug’s musings about innovation, marketing, and technology can be found on his own marketing blog.

Randall Hankins — Co-Conspirator

Randall is a self-taught artist who works primarily in steel. Sculpture and sculptural objects are his favorite forms of expression. He also enjoys painting, printmaking, the book arts and other creative pursuits and often combine many of these modalities with steel objects.

Why steel? “This year marks my 23rd year of working with steel, a material that resonates with me for a number of reasons. its density, weight and strength, coupled with its ability to be shaped and molded into forms, appeals to me. Steel’s capacity to fill positive space and/or create negative space, as well as its inherent mass and ‘gravitas’ are compelling and beautiful attributes that I will never tire of exploring.”

He sees his work as an attempt to communicate the Mystery in some form. This leads him to be particularly attracted to aleatoric processes (creation through a series of planned uncertainties), rust and other patinas, and the rich and fertile ground of sacred geometry.

In another life, Randall worked in marketing departments where he gained substantial writing experience.

©2018 Timothy C. Ely – All Rights Reserved

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