After retiring from the insurance industry, I started painting in 2008. My inspirations were apparent many years ago when watching my mother paint.
In 2009, I became serious about my paintings and joined the Aiken Center for the Arts and the Aiken Artist Guild. I served as the Program coordinator for two years. I participated in all the Artist Guild Member shows and Aiken Center For the Arts “Tis the Season” shows. I have also donated several pieces for auction for several charities. While my career in painting has not spanned many years, my art resides in several homes and the buyers have expressed their love for my work.
Artist Statement of Ellene Southerland
I would say, what I do is somewhat eclectic in nature. I never really know how a piece will come out until it’s finished. Then I even wonder if it is ever really finished?
I started this journey in oil, tried acrylic, dabbled in pastels and watercolors until I thankfully discovered the most wonderful diversity of colored pencils.
While I didn’t seriously think of art as something I would pursue, the minute I took some time for myself and started drawing, my thought processes would not let me stop. I was determined to keep trying new techniques, taking additional classes, reading and reading and practicing. Now I am painfully critical of myself and strive to improve each stroke, color and shape. It never ends. I hope it doesn’t!
I believe that the beauty of an art piece is totally in the eye of the beholder. What that beholder sees and likes is partly dependent on their age, sex, environment or even their ethnicity. It’s not always the technical ability of the artist. When I look at art, my heart tells me if it’s attractive to me. There’s a feeling inside that moves me to look further. It puts me in a place, maybe it reminds me of a prior place I’ve been or want to go, maybe it reminds me of someone, or maybe I like it just because my favorite color is there. I hope that when people peruse what I’ve created they get a “feeling” somewhat like what I’ve had in the past when I have fallen in love with what I’m looking at.