In Robert Ellison’s paintings, a subtle mixture of realism and abstraction yields powerful results. Working in oils and acrylics on canvas, he captures such things as a flower, a field of grass or a horse in motion in striking detail, but he highlights the texture of paint itself in equal measure. Mixing broad, thick strokes with sharp, intricate lines, he creates compositions that keep the viewer’s eye in constant motion. Whether he depicts an expansive outdoor vista or an intimate indoor space, he turns each painting into both a convincing depiction of the scene and a personal statement.
Ellison also employs a distinctive color palette in his works. Citing such masters as Van Gogh, Matisse and Chaim Soutine as influences, he takes the intense colors they use and gives them his own spin, softening their effects and using them to make each picture dynamic and vivid, while maintaining a deep sense of harmony and balance. This reflects the artist’s view of the world around him. “My objective as a painter,” he says, “is to express the essence of what I experience.”
Still Life paintings by Robert Ellison recently won a first, second, third AND fourth place in their category (Impressionism - Still Lifes) in the 2016 American Art Awards. His work is held in private and public collections, has been included in a significant number of Royal Ulster Academy Exhibitions and been the subject of three very well received solo shows at the Island Arts Centre Lisburn.
He has also had a well regarded career in the legal profession from which he retired in 2014 in order to concentrate more fully on his artwork.