Ellen is a Michigan native and relocated to Cape Coral to soak up the delightful SW Florida sunshine. A graduate of Calvin College, she worked as an Art teacher in the Michigan schools since 1979. She taught children from kindergarten through adulthood, other teachers, and lectured at such places as Michigan Art Educators Association and the University of Michigan. She was instrumental in bringing quality Art education into classrooms and starting Art Education programs in schools that had none. Ellen was the forerunner in integrating Art into classroom curriculum and has had the opportunity and pleasure to work with and train many student interns in the Art Education field.
Ellen was a founding member of Harbour View Gallery and a member for 9 years. During her tenure at Harbour View, she served on the executive committee, promotions committee, helped establish Standard Operating Procedures, and has been the treasurer for 6 of those 9 years.
Most recently, Ellen became a member of DAAS Art Gallery in Fort Myers, FL. where she assumes the Treasurer position as well as exhibits her paper castings.
Ellen and her work can be found in juried Fine Art Shows around the State of Florida. Her most recent show in the Sarasota area found her as a winner of a Merit Award. Her unique paper castings are collected internationally.
She is proudly married to a supportive husband of 39 years, and is lovingly surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
She is currently employed with the Lee County School District teaching advanced drawing and is the Art Director at her high school.
What is a Paper Casting?
My artwork is a unique process I call paper casting.
These castings are quite eco friendly as I recycle paper breaking it down into a pulp. I then make sheets of paper and cast them onto my original designs. These are placed in the sun to dry and shrink, thereby embossing the design into the paper.
After the paper has dried in the sun, each piece is hand painted, stained, and varnished to enhance the texture of the paper and protect it.
I am currently casting pieces as small as 3”x 3” and as large as 4’x 5’ in both representational and abstract designs.
My art is a play of contrast between the complex and the simple. I look for the complexity of shapes in the things surrounding us. I break those shapes down into simpler ones and put them back together again with a new complexity. I chose paper as my medium because of its simple nature that can have complex texture and absorb color in complex and simple ways. The embossing of the shapes into the paper repeats the complexity of process and adds a physical and visual depth. Positive and negative shapes are used to meld into each other to create a harmonized composition.