ARTIST & INSTRUCTOR, ELLEN DIAMOND
EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE
Pratt Institute, New York University,
BA Art Education – 1960
New York City Schools
1960 to 1964
Ellen Diamond’s Art Studio
1966 to 1995
Nassau Community College
1986 to 2000
Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach
1998 to present
Cummer Museum – 2009
MEET THE ARTIST
As a young child, Ellen Diamond was enthralled by the beauty and imagination that artists created on their canvases. Unlike most youngsters, she grew up in a home that was totally enmeshed in the world of art. Her father, Ben Clements was a renowned portrait painter, and served as her inspiration. She found her joy and passion in the museums of New York City where the works of Matisse, Monet, Bonnard and other 19th and 20th century masters inspired her. These formative years have served her well, and enabled her to master the techniques that now place her as a leading contemporary impressionist.
Her formal training at New York University included experimentation with abstraction as well as the more traditional approaches to art. She ultimately developed her own special technique in which shape, color and light became the central theme of her works. The harmonious interconnection of these elements led her to a style that has been heralded by critics and art collectors alike.
Her works took on significant meaning when she made her first trip to Provence where she was mesmerized by the landscape filled with light, replete with colors and shapes that quickly inspired her to translate the breathtaking scenery of Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Les Baux, Antibes and other Provencal towns into masterful works of art in her unique contemporary impressionistic style. Her love of Provence has taken her back to that dreamlike setting summer after summer where every breath she takes inspires her to make her palette come alive. During her time at home in Northern Florida, she is inspired by similar light, color and shape that captivates her in the Provencal towns. The marshes of this area have given her yet another setting in which her artistic talents can be realized. Although these landscapes are totally different, her imaginative work with color have made each an integral part of the other.
An art critic recently wrote, “Anyone who has experienced the French countryside firsthand will immediately see Diamond has captured the compelling Provencal ‘je ne sais quoi’ quality of light and life, a landscape luring artists and tourists for centuries.”
Nature sparks my passion to paint, and the love for the subject matter becomes my inspiration to express and share the excitement that I am feeling. Color is my most important tool—I use it to capture the essence of the subject and to represent my emotional response to the visual experience. Color uplifts one’s spirit and transports us into a mood of serenity or excitement. My passion finds its expression in the effect of shifting light and spontaneous directness of brushwork.
I have traveled throughout Europe to experience the light and atmosphere which has become the inspiration and spirit for the creation of my paintings.
The summers spent in Tuscany where the sun radiates over the silver olive trees, where the black green cypresses dot the landscape, and the ochre wheat fields roll on as far as the eye can see, have provided me with endless material. The astonishing quality of the light radiating from the sun of Provence and the towns where I traced the footsteps of Van Gogh, Matisse, Bonnard and Monet has also played an important role in the development of the contemporary impressionistic style that has evolved in recent years. The magnificent vistas with brilliant yellow sunflowers turning their heads to the sun, the bustling colorful flower markets, and the romantic courtyards have all entered into my canvases.
Since moving to Ponte Vedra from New York where I spent the first half of my career, my work has been greatly influenced by my new and very different surroundings. The beaches, marshes and the St Johns River with the many bridges that cross it have become important subjects for my current work. However, experimentation with color always excites me the most. The manipulation of beautiful blues, mauves and purples, the infinite palette of greens, and the explosion of reds and yellows will forever challenge me to paint the next canvas.