From the time he was a young boy, Ray Ellis knew he wanted to be an artist. Painting became as essential to his life as drawing his next breath. Growing up in Philadelphia, Sunday afternoons were frequently spent visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Mr. Ellis describes himself as a painter on all seven continents and attributes his prolific nature to a dedicated work ethic. He attended the famed Philadelphia Museum School of Art, served four years in the Coast Guard during WWII, founded his own advertising agency in New Jersey and New York, but continued to paint in his spare time. It was not until 1969 that he was able to devote all his time to painting. Over more than 70 years that he’s been painting, he estimates that he has completed more than 6,000 works, including many that have been published in his 15 books.
Of great significance to Ellis were artists who were especially accomplished in watercolor — Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargent and Ogden Pleissner. It was Winslow Homer, however, who exerted the greatest and most enduring impact on Ellis’ art in subject matter and style.
Never was retirement his goal, but to continue to paint for as long as he could hold a brush and have a sound mind. With so many compositions in his sketch book for future paintings, his greatest frustration was that he might not have time to finish them all. His biggest thrill was to start a new painting.
For three consecutive years beginning in 1998, Mr. Ellis was commissioned by the President to paint scenes of the White House to be reproduced as the official Christmas card.
He is represented in fine art galleries across the country and overseas. His works have been exhibited in U.S. Embassies in Geneva, Vienna and London, and are in the permanent collections of the White House, museums across the country and private collections worldwide.
A portion of the proceeds of this book will be donated to the Ray Ellis Foundation.
The Ray Ellis Foundation
The Ray Ellis Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1999. The mission of the foundation is to foster, encourage, aid and promote the visual arts and their appreciation by the public. Since its inception the foundation has provided scholarships to determined and talented high school students that intend to pursue a career in painting. It was important to Mr. Ellis to carry on the tradition of encouraging young people as he had been encouraged by teachers, mentors, and collectors. The Ray Ellis Foundation, Inc. is a 501(3)(c) not-for-profit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.
Visit www.rayellis.com for more information on the foundation and artwork.