Don Ellis

I paint in order to see,


35 Bradley Street
Trumansburg, NY 14886
(607) 280–8993

Years ago while living in Germany I took a university-level history of art course with Frau Doctor Fester, a very demanding German teacher from the old school. She had been the house warden for the Goethe House during World War II. The course met three nights per week and then two Saturdays per month we had a field trip to one of Europe’s important museums. I took a second semester. This was my beginning of seeing art and architecture in any structured way.

After careers in architecture and digital technology I am fortunate now to have time for concentrating on art. Studio days include acrylic painting and drawing with color pencils. Shop days produce outdoor mobiles, picture frames, and occasionally an architectural model. I exhibit continuously in the region; am involved in the Greater Ithaca Art Trail, the Cayuga Artist Collaborative in Trumansburg, the Peacock Gallery in Corning, and especially, in the State of the Art Gallery in Ithaca.

My paintings and drawings stem from place and society. They divide into series some of which are: Autobiographic, Finger Lakes Drawings, fantasy paintings about the Ice Age in the Finger Lakes, and a series inspired by quotes from poetry.

Current explorations span from the American indigenous peoples, to the underground railroad, to the Rights Movement, and especially to the social impact of our ever-changing local, rural culture.

In a century when rural and urban life are entrenching themselves in their differences it seems worthwhile to express through art that until recently all life was rural, or closely bound to rural; and we all need to hear the rocks and trees, the winds and stars, and the peoples of this ancient land. They may speak to us today just as they spoke to those who sojourned here long ago. This is my work.