The Artist + The Art

Artist Statement


The Joy of Printmaking

My Japanese Cultural heritage and American upbringing strongly influence my artistic perspective. Abstract interpretations are my passion and "Shibui" is a very important component in my creative process. A work that appears "Shibui" (Japanese word for simple, yet refined) has elements that encourage viewers to want to examine it, to contemplate it and to look at it again and again. "Shibui" presents mystery and requires revelations of the print over time. My goal has been to integrate "Shibui" with western contemporary forms as I create my print works.


I draw inspiration from natural and environmental settings, and use natural colors and controlled unevenness, to create quiet richness and depth in my prints. Luminosity and the play of light are equally important. My imagery has been further influenced by my extensive travels throughout the world.


Ellen Yamada TzvetinUntitled

Against the pure and snowy sky

Snowflakes flurry in wonderous dance

And, if you see beyond

Misty mountains in a trance

Windswept pine trees with blankets of snow

Purify one's soul

Let the beauty of what we see

Be our heaven


—Ellen Tzvetin, February 1997


About Ellen Yamada Tzvetin

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Ellen (Numoto) Yamada Tzvetin, spent part of her childhood in the Minadoka Japanese Internment Camp in Idaho. She studied at the University of Washington and later worked for many years at a nationally-recognized architectural firm preparing visual materials. This eventually led her to explore printmaking as an expression of her creativity. Tzvetin studied printmaking at workshops and art schools from Chicago to Berkeley to Seattle to San Francisco.


Yamada Tzvetin's work is included in private and corporate art collections in the United States. She is a member of the California Society of Printmakers (the society recently celebrated their Centennial Anniversary).