About Ethan

I am a contemporary traditional impressionist painter from New York City. I also have a passion for teaching art and have taught thousands of people throughout the world with my online instruction. I studied at the National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts in New York City and the Florence Academy of Art, in Italy. As a student, I copied the masters extensively in museums in North America and Italy.

Artist Statement:

“I believe painting is a visual art before anything else, and I like a painting best that appeals to the senses. When it uses the full capacity of the paint itself to create a sensual delight for the eyes.” — Ethan Semmel

I use nature as inspiration to convey my impression, message or vision of beauty for whatever it is I am painting.

There are parts on a work or nature that interest me more than others. When the interest in the work wanes, I will stop work on the piece. It’s almost the same idea as the human eye. When you look at someone’s face, say someone you consider beautiful, you will focus more on the person’s eyes, hair, mouth or whatever interests you. This is the way to work, I am saying, “This is what I saw. This area interested me, this area did not. Can you, the viewer, understand me? Even if you disagree.”

I have always been interested in the application of paint ever since I started painting. I have studied application of paint from the old masters to the impressionsists. I like to use oil paint to it’s full capacity in my work. Whether that means thin veilings and glazes of color, offset by thick impastos or sometimes mixing my colors right on the canvas to produce a more lively and beautiful surface, this is an important piece of the puzzle towards producing a painting that is a feast for the eyes.

My works are in many private collections and a list of my exhibitions and awards are below.

Selected Awards and Prizes:

Newington-Cropsey Foundation Award
Valerie Delacorte Scholarship
William Auerbach-Levy Prize
Ernest and Helen Adams Scholarship
Arton Arts Inc – Mequon, WI
South Shore Artists Group – Staten Island, NY

Selected Exhibitions

Schafler Forum, Congregation Rodeph Sholom – NYC
Cafe An Beal Bocht, Riverdale, NY
British Institute – Florence, Italy
Sundance Gallery – Bridgehampton, NY
National Arts club – NYC
Cork Gallery – NYC
National Academy of Design – NYC