More About Ellie Contreras

About Ellie


Although primarily a figurative/portrait painter, I paint whatever inspires me. I also find it useful to hone my technique with still life and floral studies.

When I paint people I am interested in conveying more than just appearance. I like to express an attitude or a feeling such as freedom or confidence or vitality. I particularly like to paint strong females, It is important to me to break away from the traditional representation of women subjects in art as submissive and objectified.

My series of ‘hidden face’ paintings work on two different levels. They are primarily pleasing to look at but also mysterious. I am playing with the theme of female identity. By replacing the face with an object like flowers or ice cream I am casting assumptions on the viewer about femininity and beauty. This is a comment on how society can view women in a very one dimensional way.

My painting technique is a mix of classical and expressive. Some of the painting is very realistic whereas other parts are pushed to abstraction. The image is often fragmented and distressed in some way, these are tools I use to make the painting lively, energetic and interesting.

My background in graphic design has helped me in terms of composition and colour. I want my paintings to be harmonious and beautiful as well as interesting.


  • Guildford House Gallery – group exhibition May 2018
  • Farnham Art society summer exhibition June 2018
  • Epsom & Ewell Contemporary art exhibition July 2018
  • Guildford House Gallery – group exhibition 13th October¬† – 3rd November 2018
  • Oko:Art Autumn Exhibition 8th November – 18th November 2018


  • Advanced GNVQ Art and design with distinction from Richmond Upon Thames College
  • BA (hons) Graphic design and illustration from De Montfort University
  • Selected as a full exhibiting member of Guildford art society.
"I wanted something original for my dining room. I bought a painting of a swallow and wild flowers with silver leaf from Ellie after seeing it on social media. it is so beautiful I get so many compliments."


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