By: Audrey Levinson
Ellen Edgerton a talented portrait artist works with acrylics, watercolors, pen and ink, and digital art. Ellen can create a portrait of your favorite furry family member, your pet(s). Most of us who share our living space with a dog or a cat or any other comical, sweet, sometimes annoying but always forgivable animal knows how much they mean to us. They give us the gift of unconditional love and are amazing creatures from cuddle time to play time and worthy of a portrait to be remembered.
When Ellen began to paint in 2003, she took a childhood activity that she so enjoyed and began to do it again. Influenced by the things she grew up looking at are key to her inspiration. One of those were watching her mother paint in oils and knowing her grandfather was a painter as well.
Ellen’s first effort was painting with a basic set of acrylics with no black. This gave her an experiment, to make black. She mixed all the other colors and was successful, then she moved to working with a limited palette. These are both classic organized exercises for beginning painters. These are things that a beginner is “supposed to do” as she emphasized to me. I got the feeling that to her benefit, she’s a very organized individual. However, when it comes to painting or creating following all the rules has its place but must be balanced with adventure and imagination. So, Ellen had yet to explore outside of the box. This produced a small quandary for her. She waded through this period only to have learned that lesson and never to give up on her newest passion.
She found that it was satisfying to paint, and it relaxed her from her busy job as an administrative assistant at Syracuse University. As she spoke about her job she reminded me of a Radar like character from the T.V. show M*A*S*H. Radar was always the one who knew all of the inner workings of his unit and more. He could take care of any situation day or night, and did. Ellen seems to have played that role in the job she had. It consumed her life. Now that she had rekindled her love for painting Ellen wanted more time that was only for her. She quit her time-consuming job and spent two-weeks job hunting. This was a pivotal time for her because she allowed the artist within to be a part of her life. She used that time to get organized building a database of all of her paintings, and a website before another job offer came her way.
Ellen took this position with ESF and no longer has the pressure of being on call day and night. I got the impression that she is very tech savvy. Ellen also creates animal portraits using digital art. What is nice about this medium is that you get a disc with the portrait on it. One would be able to have the portrait transferred onto anything, a mug, a T-shirt, etc…. As much as a painted portrait has its value, I love this idea.
Her website Pansies and Paws got its name from one of her first paintings. Family members loved it so much that she painted copies for them, which is a portrait of one of her cats laying low in a garden of pansy like flowers, thus, the name of her website. Her pet portraits are very reasonably priced, and I recommend checking out her website pansiesandpaws.com, to view her beautiful artwork.