We had the good fortune of connecting with Carolyn Ellis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carolyn, how do you think about risk?
Having been raised by parents who had common sense and the Gospel elevated to the same level of priority, taking risks did not come easy for me at all! When I started painting I was 62, had just survived 30 years of homeschooling six children, and for the first time in my life positively passionate about something – making abstract art of all things! My analysis at the time was that if I didn’t grab onto my vision of painting fulltime, I would be missing the adventure of a lifetime. Having the advantage of my husband still working full time and my beginning to collect Social Security settled the issue. I committed 100% to making art. I bought my first smartphone, got a business card, rented a tiny studio space and went for it! Eight years down the road, now 70, and painting from home, I continue to create as if nothing else matters. No common sense for me!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I had no idea that I was entering upon a journey that would change my life when I started painting. I thought I was simply after creative expression, which I hoped to share with others. What happened is much more than that! For me making abstract art is a driving passion which is revealing aspects of myself I never would have found without painting. For example: My life long attachment to simplicity became perfectly understandable when, through painting, I discovered the need to empty myself in order to to be open to inspiration and insight when I work. This concept of emptying myself right away rang a bell for me: So my love of simplicity is a metaphor! It’s not less stuff I’ve been after all these years but rather less of me – less pride, less dominance, less argumement! Another example of “artful revelation”: My canvases, which seem to be getting bigger and bigger, are not about my ego and self confidence enlarging but about my search for “the source of bigness”! I am looking to understand truth, beauty, yes, even God! Of course big ideas require larger scale canvases! I I am not “busy” making art I am engaged in completing myself and becoming the person I am meant to be!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Being an interior person, going places is not my thing. After chatting at length in my studio, I would suggest my friend and I go for lunch at Velvet Taco on Henderson Ave in Dallas or Zalat Pizza in Dallas on Fitzhugh and then go to a park for a walk or back to my studio!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Fred (80), colorblind, and dead to abstract art for most of his life, is my biggest supporter! Some of our adult children were early fans of my work too but Fred has consistently encouraged me to pursue painting, to go after anything I have in my sights. When the children were all out of the house and on their own, it was Fred who suggested we turn our living room into my studio and use the master bedroom for our den! When I recently asked about upgrading to a $600 easel, his humorous response was “Buy 2!” Last year when I put together a 22 page booklet – ART MUTT/Finding Me – about my art journey, Fred’s precious response was “Everything you say in this will be transforming and encouraging for anyone who reads it.” He actually keeps a copy next to his desk so he can read pieces of it when he wants! Semper Fred Ellis!
Instagram: carolynellisart and papered2020
Twitter: Carolyn Ellis Art
Facebook: Carolyn Ellis Art and EZ ART Projects
Nominate someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.