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Here is a little take away from a studio visit with Ellen, in preparation for the Summer '24 exhibition, "Luster":

-There is something about your work that transcends traditional, figurative representations. The forms in your paintings seem to represent thoughts instead of recognizable objects or images – they are almost like automatic thoughts, or something that could be compared to automatic writing or an internal, made-up language. Do the forms you use feel like an internal language? Do you know where they come from, or do they sometimes surprise you?

EW: The forms could be related to an internal made-up language, which is not always conscious. So in a sense what emerges does sometimes surprise me. In other instances I know I want to create something “real,” such as an architecturally based form.


-The compositions do often suggest spatial structures, like rooms or buildings. Since we already discussed that your work suggests some sort of internal language or thoughts…do you find that the forms in your work sometimes seem to represent the interactions of different thoughts, in your mind? [Yes, I think you are right.] The work is fairly minimal…..which leads me to feel that if these are thoughts in space, they must be peaceful thoughts, with lots of room to exist….kind of spiritual, meditative[Brilliant, thank you.]


-When I visited you in August, I think I remarked that your painting seems to involve a method that is so direct from your paintbrush to the canvas, in a way that is similar to writing (I love that). What does it mean to you to connect with the matrix in a way that is almost drawing? Maybe there is a significance to this in the material of the panel, too…the neutral ground, the tooth of the linen? 

EW: The work is usually a combination of drawing and painting. I use raw linen because I like the way it works with the graphite, the paint colors, and the texture of the linen.


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