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Oils, acrylics, cast bronze

Barbara Ellis

Barbara L. Ellis - Artist Bio
Mid-westerner by birth, Californian by choice, world traveler following her dreams.
My early years in small town southern Illinois fueled my desire to get out and see the world, to meet other people and learn new things. I graduated from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale with a BA in art, specializing in cast bronze sculpture. I’ve also studied painting both at University and under several professional artists. My medium of choice is acrylic paint although I love working with oils and multi-media projects.
Until recently my art has been primarily representational. I was inspired by nature, by the play of light on an object, and by my other passion, travel. Two periods of time in the 1980’s living in Greece inspired a series of paintings of boats on beaches as well as a series of cast bronze sculptures based on Greek tragedies.
Returning to the U.S. in 1985 I moved to the north coast of California. Surrounded by the astonishing beauty and majesty of the redwood forest and the rugged Pacific coastline I painted more boats, landscapes and seascapes. It was there where I also started teaching art in my home studio as well as in the newly constructed Adorni Recreation Center on Eureka’s historic harbor.
In 2006 when my late husband retired, we sold our Eureka, CA home and almost all our “stuff” and became wanderers as we traveled around the U.S., Mexico and Canada, living in a 37 foot RV for the next nine years. For someone inspired by travel, that was heaven! Many landscapes and seascapes were the result of those travels.
2014 brought another big change to my life when my son and daughter-in-law (Estero, FL residents) presented us with twin grandsons! That event brought an end to the RV life and a new start in southwest Florida.
Now, a member of the Estero Art League, I show my art at both locations of Coco Art Gallery, Coconut Point in Estero and the Coastland Mall in Naples. I am also represented by BIG Arts on Sanibel, as well as teaching classes there. This winter I’ve also returned to teaching a weekly acrylic painting class at Jamaica Bay, in Fort Myers.
Recently my art has shifted from only representational to include abstract. I see the former as the prose version of two-dimensional art and the latter as the poetic realization of the medium. For the abstract paintings I’m more inspired by dreams, by colors, and by pattern. One painting seems to lead directly to the next, frequently via dreams.
Mid-century modern style and color are strong threads in my abstract paintings. Southwest Florida’s beaches, plants and birds are the main focus of my representational paintings.

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