About Ellie

What I consider my earliest mature paintings (averaging about 5 by 6 feet) were abstract with active bold brushwork– specifically employing expression and movement in a very physical search for freedom through the act of painting. (Untitled No. 1, 1986 ~ 6.5′ by 5′)

Later, in the early to mid 1990’s I focused on installation art and mixed media monoprints, in solo or group exhibits at Durham Arts Council, Duke Museum of Art (now defunct i think), Duke University, Carrboro Arts Center, and UNC-Charlotte. The roots to my occasional wall installations are here.

At some point, my work became painting focused and at least metaphorically representative, exploring narrative, metaphor, color and brushwork. My figurative art has been variously described as “soulful”, “dream-scapes”, “internal landscapes”, and art you can “feel in your gut”. Perhaps all apply. These paintings explore emotional experiences using color and sparse, iconic imagery that often draws from nature but has little to do with naturalism. This piece is owned by a psychotherapist in the greater Philadelphia area. She says that it runs about 50-50 whether people see the action implied as a positive or negative one.  (Leverage, 2012 36″ x 36″)

For about 8 years I worked in two major directions: the figurative/metaphorical and more or less abstract landscapes. The last several years my focus has been the abstracted landscapes. Occasionally I create a mixed media sculptural piece or a woodcut. But for the most part, I’m a painter.

The small, more or less abstract landscapes were initially done mostly with knives. They had their genesis in 2009, a particularly vibrant fall leaf season. Each day I would walk to my studio through the glowing woods and arrive there with a head full of staggering color. My inescapable mission in the studio became mixing, immersing myself in, and slathering that color onto canvas. “Landscape”, besides being the source of my inspiration, was a simple, flexible, and often very loose format within which I could explore color and texture in themselves. Later, various landscape phenomena worked themselves in as well– shadow, silhouette, contrast, and pattern among other things. (Nature’s Red Field, 2010, ~12″ x 12″;  Ascendant, 30″ x 30″;  Winter Beach, 2010, 12″ x 12″)

In the mid-late 20-teens, my landscapes often combine geometric and natural forms, particularly trees, as well as a focus on surface qualities such as mark and texture. I’m enjoying the way I can work with landscape and abstraction simultaneously. Imposing one form onto the other brings a bold strength to the landscape, and, conversely, a delicate naturalism to the abstraction. (Niche II, 2018  30″ x 30″).

Since 2020, I have been working on a series of paintings that include a little building, a structure in the trees. (Persistence of Memory II, 2021, 36 x 36;  Vessel II, 2022, 36 x 36;  Structure in Lifting Fog, 2020, 30 x 30)