Artist Ellie Contreras
Ellie’s has a BA in graphic design and illustration and for the last twenty years has worked as a graphic designer, illustrator and artist. Her love of figurative oil painting began at age thirteen when she worked her way through all the books on oil painting in the local library and taught herself how to paint. She has been painting ever since, honing her technique and evolving her style. Over the years she has added to this with tuition in college, university and workshops.
Ellie’s paintings have evolved over the past few years from a painterly expressive realist approach to a more stylised approach which allows for more creativity and freedom of expression. Ellie’s current body of work incorporates narratives from mythology with biographical and social concerns particularly themes of addiction and reflections of the experience of being a woman in the current social and political climate. In the process of making these paintings, Ellie is building her own vocabulary of symbolism which she weaves into the narratives.
Ellie is inspired by the highly imaginative ancient art found in mosaics and tapestries. Also early 20th-century figurative art particularly artists from the British Neo-Romantic movement such as Minton and Craxton who mixed cubist and surreal elements with Romantic themes. Pioneering figurative female artists like Paula Rego, Vanessa Bell and Alice Neel are also a big inspiration as well as contemporary female figurative artists such as Melissa Kime. These influences provide a driving force of encouragement and inspiration in Ellie’s studio practice.
Advanced GNVQ Art and Design – distinction
Richmond Upon Thames College 1997 – 1999
BA (hons) Graphic Design and Illustration – 2:1
De Montfort University 1999 – 2001
Intensive figurative painting workshop with James Bland
Art Academy London 2019
Iid Smile Inside Project Exhibition September 2020
Denbies Wine Estate group exhibition 16th 27th March 2020
Contemporary Art Fairs Sandown Park Racecourse 13 – 15 Mar 2020
The Pavillion Guildford Cricket club – group exhibition March 2019
Guildford art society Autumn Exhibition at West Horsley Place – Saturday 2nd to Sunday 10 November 2019
New Artist Fair London – Old Truman Brewery, 13th to 15th of September 2019
Farnham art society spring pop up show Coxbridge Farm 26-27thMay 2019
Contemporary art fair Newbury – 10th May – 11th May 2019
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