Am liking this

Part 1Part 2

Didn’t think I was going to like this,,, but I do!.. When doing the abstract part of the work I distinctly remember thinking, “This is a huge mess, and how the bleep am I going to fix it?” The little voice in my head answered in its usual nonchalant fashion, “Ah well, stick the guy in and see what happens.” And I did.

Then came the question of what colour to paint him. He was going to be warm skin tones but somehow the chosen colour didn’t  look right. Nonplussed, every fibre of my being said this was going to be a disaster until Facebook came to the rescue. My tutor Stephen Buntrock posted an amazing photo of a guy modelled in silver. My next question was, how to paint silver? Google came to the rescue, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, lots of white and a touch of crimson just to give it a bit of a glow. I thought it was going to be the colour which was going to give me grief. Got that wrong. The colour was easy. It was getting the muscles and toning right, and then I was sick for a month. The level of frustration from enforced rest only served to reaffirm my determination to finish the last two paintings of the current series before beginning on the next.

Part 5The second painting sat on its easel mocking me from the corner of the studio as I lounged in a state of illness on the sofa. It is one project I wish I had never started. Taking advantage of short bursts of energy, I grabbed the chalk and started drawing. Vines wrapped around the man their tendrils extending to cradle the baby gave a new dimension to a half formed idea. I couldn’t wait to take it to my tutor to get his feed back and was encouraged to know I was on the right path… yayyyyy….

What this space,,


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About Ellis Burgess

A number of people have said that ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) is in Ellis’s genes and to some extent they may be correct. Her grandmother painted and so did her mother. Marge Barley started painting when she was 9 years old and achieved some acclaim in New Zealand. In turn, her mother, Ellis’s Grandmother started much later in life more from compulsion than conscious desire. Ten years ago a well-intentioned friend shoved a paintbrush into Ellis’s clenched fist, forcefully moving her hand between paint pot and paper until it moved of its own volition in a frenetic frenzy attended by a torrent of tears born of bewilderment and frustration, unaware of the wild colour patterning the fury within. Ellis’s mother had passed away three years earlier from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. From these inauspicious beginnings Ellis began to paint, and for a short time attended classes at the Hamilton Society of Arts in New Zealand. Seven years ago, Ellis and her husband moved to the Gold Coast where she met Stephen Buntrock of the Gold Coast Art School. With his encouragement, painting became more than just something to do. It became a passion. Another passion is dance. Ellis loves the musical synergy of movement, the human form working with rhythm mood and emotion, sensing the freedom as the dancer soars across the floor with effortless ease. Like a lot of little girls, she was sent off to ballet in a somewhat desperate attempt by her grandfather to stop her stomping around the house. Eleven years later Ellis was selected to dance with NZ Ballet Company in a season of the Nutcracker. Did Ellis stop stomping? No. Ballet was to be her life; that was until she met the man of her dreams. Never the less, ballet has featured in much of her adult life by way of teaching and outlets of involvement. Ellis quickly discovered another outlet was painting. She spent a long time pondering on the skill set required to achieve her vision; how to portray the artistry of movement, the musicality and rhythm of dance, and the genius of the human form on canvas. Attempting different techniques, she learnt she is not an illustrator, but a painter who gravitated towards free movement. In her quieter moments Ellis often wonders what her mother would say if she were still here, left only with her paintings languishing against the wall. As an apprentice in the art of painting Ellis hopes the path ahead will be clear, perhaps meander elegantly at her will. Maybe it will broaden out to a huge piazza where she may sit for a long while, then later choose the many paths that transverse the piazza or continue again down the main road.