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janina ellis

Location(s): 
Medium: Painting

Booth #: Coming soon.


Janina Ellis was born in Seattle, WA, in 1981. While still an infant, her family moved to Munich, Germany, where they resided for the next 14 years. She grew up attending both American and German schools while traveling extensively throughout Europe with her parents and three sisters. Ellis is in the third generation of a family of artists. Her grandmother was an oil painter, and her mother, Jane Tukarski, is currently one of the top U.S. scrimshanders (maritime engraver).

In 2009, Ellis took a pause from active painting, and returned to Germany to study classical painting and drawing at Akthof, a private art school in Munich. After an intensive year of studying anatomy and the human figure, Ellis returned to the U.S. and began focusing on figurative work. She opened a gallery/studio in Greenville, SC in 2010, where she continues to show and sell her paintings.

"I paint with the knowledge that everybody is intriguing. Everyone is the hero of a story. Every moment is the climax scene in its own novel. My personal challenge is not to seek out remarkable inspiration, but rather to seize a seemingly mundane, everyday moment and illuminate it in a manner that reveals its beauty and poignancy.

Painting with both acrylic and oil allows me to manipulate deep textures both visually and tangibly. I prefer to capture the initial subject and composition of a painting with acrylic and then build up the depth, intensity and texture with oil paint. While painting, I focus on capturing the contrasts and colors in a scene, rather than each minute detail. The true charm and allure of a painting derives from its implication rather than its precision."

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