Artist of the Month: Ellen Blaine

artist

Elaine Blaine is shown in this collage with examples of her varied watercolors and sculpture.

Ellen Blaine, a watercolor painter and sculptor, recently relocated to the area from New Jersey and Florida.  She first started painting when she took an art elective in college but raising her son plus her professional career as a registered nurse took precedence and put her artwork on hold.  

During that time–which included years of teaching anatomy to nurses–she became interested in figurative painting and sculpture.  Then, when her son went away to college, she began studying sculpture and painting, which led to opening an art school, gallery and art camp in New Jersey.  Since then she has exhibited in numerous states and has garnered placement and awards in numerous juried shows. Her work is represented in private collections, colleges and foundations.  

She gets her inspiration for painting and sculpture from anything and everything, whether it be physical reality or in her mind’s eye.  She favors working from live models but also does interpretive images from memory, including something compelling seen in nature or from life experience. 

“The fun is taking what I know to be the commonalities of the human form and interpreting it however my mind sees it at that moment,” Ellen explains.  “There are limitless possibilities in creating art.”

Ellen favors painting loose colorful skies, trees, vivid florals and contemplative figurative poses, but is also known for an avant-garde and sometimes unconventional view in both mediums featuring elongated, quirky figures combining the human form with elements of nature.  

“I love the vibrancy of color, the boundless beauty in nature, and the gracefulness of the human gesture and form” she points out.  “But experience has taught me to embrace creativity that springs from the more somber realities of life as well.”  

A sculpture of a gloved surgeon’s hands holding a heart and a surgical instrument, called ‘His Heart in Your Hands’ was done in response to her late husband’s numerous open-heart operations.  

Another, done after the attack on the World Trade Center in New York is entitled ‘Earthquake’ and shows hands beckoning out of broken glass, twisted steel and debris from the fallen towers. This work was exhibited by the Mayor’s Office. 

 A watercolor painting of her son as a child, attempting to play his father’s then overwhelmingly large saxophone is called ‘Determination’ and is one of her favorites as her son now plays professionally in New Orleans among other national venues, using the same treasured instrument.

She describes one of her greatest joys as an artist as teaching quadriplegic children to paint holding the brush in their mouths.  She teaches her students that there are no mistakes, only opportunities, and begins classes with relaxation exercises in which students become loose and free with watercolors, allowing the medium to obey its own nature and principles.  

If using a model, she often has her students begin by assuming the pose to connect with the model’s gesture.  During wellness workshops Ellen uses clay in a therapeutic modality and plans to begin doing workshops and classes once she is settled in the area.

Ellen lives with her little Westie, Lilly Roget.  She was introduced to the Dunmore art group by a friend just a few months ago and enjoys it tremendously.  

“There’s a wonderful sense of creative energy and level of talent present in the class. The people are so welcoming and friendly to me as a newcomer and the teacher is awesome!  The Dunmore activity hub is a vital part of the new community I’m happy to be a part of.”