Ellie Hesse was born in New York in 1972 but spent most of her childhood in the Yorkshire Dales. Travel has always been an important feature of her life since then, exploring Asia and South America, as well as living and working in a number of different European countries (UK, France, Germany and more recently Italy). These experiences continue to inspire and nourish her creative process.
Entirely self-taught, Ellie is mainly known for her vibrantly coloured townscapes, though in recent years, she has gone on to develop her art to include more figurative work, focusing on the horse in particular. Ellie uses a variety of different media and techniques, depending on the subject matter. The palette knife is her tool of preference for building up layers of texture and depth of colour in her townscapes. Her equine work, conversely, demands a freer hand in seeking to capture the horse’s natural form and movement, and so charcoal and more fluid paints feel more appropriate.
By working intermittently on two very different subjects, Ellie has found that the two approaches seem to cross-pollinate. The looser drawing style of the equine work, feeding into the more structural work of townscapes, bringing new vitality into the painting style as well as composition, with the introduction of figures and animals. The creative tension that arises from contrasting solid, architectural forms with the fluidity of a natural and dynamic subject, creates a certain energy, keeping the painting process always fresh and exciting.
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