About Rose ELLIS
My paintings are inspired by a wide range of subjects, both classical and modern . I create work in either impressionist or abstract expressionist styles; I call my approach "neo-impressionism." I try to capture natural landscape in plein air as much as possible, working in bold contrasts, with a vivid but limited palette that veers towards the minimal.
I come from a family of designers, and I’ve been painting since the age of ten. I’ve trained at the Kendall School of Art & Design in Grand Rapids; and I earned my B.F.A. degree in studio art from the University of Michigan. I’ve also been a member for several years in the Oil Painters of America association, and exhibited in several of their shows. During my career I’ve lived and worked in the Virgin Islands, Tuscany, the American southwest, the Great Lakes, France, and Japan—all of which have given me important inspiration for her work. I exhibit in west Michigan as well as nationally, and my work is included in numerous public and private collections. I’m skilled painting in both small and large formats, and occasionally I use digital technology to transform environments with computer-generated wall-size murals. And I welcome commissions since it gives me the opportunity to work closely with a client to bring her or his visions to life!
At times over the space of my career I've created several series either in a realistic or completely abstract manner. And you can find a range of these works, too, on my website: www.roseellis.com.
I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan with my family and my two cats, Degas and Picasso, who insist on helping out in my studio.
I can’t go along for any stretch of time without painting, it’s so much a part of the fabric of my life. I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a child of eight.
I love creating something new when painting. For example, I find it’s truly a challenge to capture in my work the same kinds of picture planes that I find in landscapes and ancient frescoes: their mysteriousness, the tension between the two-dimensional “decorativeness” of a fresco versus the depth of field and perspective of a landscape subject. I keep trying to combine the two as I work, and it’s a real thrill to present ideas in an all-new way.
I’m never “finished” with a painting when I’m done—not until it finds a home with a client. I first realized this years ago when I completed a large and luxurious pink-hued iris that I loved, and gave it an elegant rose-colored frame. It seemed so beautiful, but in some strange sense incomplete. Then my friend Inez bought it and installed it in her living room, and I was truly thrilled. It seemed as though it had been made to order. I didn’t regret parting with it at all. Now all my paintings are like that. They may hang on the walls of my studio or in a gallery but I feel they’re only “in transit” to someone else’s space where they truly belong.
I enjoy the process of painting more than anything else. Mixing the gesso, stretching the canvas, applying the oils to the linen and so forth. I’m especially aware of my brushstrokes—I like them confident and direct. The way I can place color on the canvas and create an entirely new world is utterly fascinating to me.