Toni Ellis

Toni Ellis 

My paintings capture the intrinsic beauty of objects collected in my daily life. I feel a deep intimacy for the objects chosen. There is a rough pottery pitcher from my mother’s home, a blue vase given to me by a sister who died, a seashell belonging to a dear friend. Fruits, vegetables and gourds are carefully selected for their symmetry, depth of color and unusual markings.

My paintings feature close frontal placement, strong lighting and detailed rendering of the subject. Some pieces display richly contrasting colors while others are muted and quietly meditative. Backgrounds are kept simple in order to focus on form, composition and varying depths of space. I create drama in my paintings in several different ways. Sometimes a single object is placed in the center of the picture plane, or widely dissimilar objects may be juxtaposed. Potatoes scattered on a table are reflected in a brass bowl; the reflected image becomes strangely elongated and distorted. A basket of mushrooms is set against a brilliant coral background. In such ways, my paintings draw the viewer into a world of glowing color and quiet grace.

My art is linked to a long tradition of still life painting. In addition, there are several contemporary artists whom I admire and from whom I have drawn inspiration: John Nava, Jeanne Duval and Claudio Bravo.

Whether vibrantly hued or softly intimate, my paintings create a rich visual experience within the tradition of contemporary realism.


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