Local Artist Spotlight: Mary Ellis


Mary Ellis, both an abstract expressionist painter and a successful graphic designer, has completed a task which many would describe as both arduous and daunting: the 100-day project. This project, a global outreach challenge inviting all artists to participate, entailed the creation of a work per day with the process documented on the social media of the respective artist. Both tech-savvy and determined, Ellis found it within herself to intuitively paint a work per day for one hundred days straight and document her journey to keep herself motivated.  

Growing up in Croton, Ellis was surrounded by the beauty of nature throughout the river towns. Drawn to urban atmosphere as well, she would later expand her inspiration to create art through her observation of the whirring rhythm of Manhattan just a short distance away. With the exploration of various environments, rhythms, and hues, the passionate artist has created intriguing works in the categories of landscapes, interiors, mind chatter, rhythms, faces, and her newest series of transparencies. 

To Ellis, art is not pre-planned. Intuition is the key to her creation, and she described her paintings as both spontaneous and surprising, as she never knows where her works will lead her. Using art as a vehicle for her story, her voice, and her passion, Mary Ellis uses what she refers to as “brilliant colors” to represent the world around her.  

Often, the painting or collage itself is given the most attention when an artist’s work is remarked upon, but the process through which the art was created is swept under the rug. Looking behind the scenes, from spontaneous mixed media incorporated into her works, the importance of reggae and meditation, and the usage of rhythms from her drum, Ellis utilizes a variety of art forms in order to fully represent her inner masterpieces. The various contributing elements to her craft should not go unnoticed, as music and mindfulness are critical parts of Ellis’ creativity. 

It was the easiest thing for me, it just came easy,” said Ellis when asked about her relationship with art from the beginning. With a mother who had artistic capabilities and supplies constantly around, Ellis described art as something she grew up believing was a part of life, and it was certainly not optional in her eyes. 

“I want them to feel my joy, and my fun, my heart, and my truth. I want them to have the experience of what they bring to it. I like that interaction, that somebody would respond to my work, and enjoy it. My biggest thrill is when somebody wants to live with it. They want something that I did to see every day. That is what I like.” Certainly, Mary Ellis has channeled her passion into works that evoke a myriad of responses among those that have the fortune of admiring them. To Ellis, it isn’t all about selling her work, or conveying a specific message. It is about acting as a guide for others to find their own truths in the brush strokes of her genius.  

Seamlessly comingling her love of art and music, Mary Ellis has created a beautiful and intense body of work that represents what she calls “her energy.” Throughout this series, she has captured her own expression in hopes that others will have fun with the bright colors she brings to life in her captivating pieces.  

Starting March 24th (and runing through May 5), a collection from her 100-day series, “One a Day” will be displayed for all to experience at The Donald Gallery in Dobbs Ferry. The openinng reception will be from 11:00am-2:00pm on the 24th and the gallery is open from 10:00am-4:00pm dailyThe Donald Gallery is located at the South Presbyterian Church at 343 Broadway in Dobbs Ferry. You can see more of Mary’s work at www.marryellisart.com


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About the Author: Sarah Dolgin