Silk once served as a currency in the East and a gateway to the West. My mixed-media paintings continue that exchange by referencing the philosophical and spiritual ideas of the East while transporting the ancient discipline of painting on silk into our contemporary experience. My current work explores the search for a meditative rather than a demanding energy to navigate our Western urban lives.
I create my own visual currency via color, markings and geometric shapes. According to many ancient spiritual teachings as well as modern science, colors are essentially frequencies that can impact emotion and states of being. In the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, asymmetry and “imperfection” are viewed as beauty. My creative approach draws on these world views, allowing colors, organic shapes and lines to emerge naturally, mapping the movement between our inner and outer landscapes. Through the cross fertilization of media, my work evokes the inner sanctuary where individuals can retreat against the opposing energy of today’s urban environment.
MORE ABOUT ELLEN
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1963, Ellen Brook found her way to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1997. After calling many cities and towns ‘home’ and traveling extensively, she began her artistic journey in California. Investigations into consciousness and meditation paralleled her introduction to painting.
After a career in investor and corporate communications, Ellen reoriented her life to focus on her art. While largely self-taught, she has supplemented her self-education with art classes, workshops and privately. Ellen holds a B.A. from Duke University and an M.P.A. from the Monterey Institute (Middlebury) of International Studies.
In addition to her art practice, Ellen also designs and creates original, hand-painted women’s apparel and accessories and interior goods. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows, Bay Area runways, and independent design shows. Featured shows include “Uncommon Threads” at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and “ARTWEAR” at San Francisco’s de Young Museum. Her artwork has been selected for the cover of the San Francisco Open Studios Guide, and featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Fiber Arts Now Magazine and Punch Magazine.
Ellen is on the Advisory Board of the Fashion & Design Department at Canada College, Redwood City CA. She is also on the Artist Advisory Council for the Kids & Art Foundation. Ellen hosts workshops for kids with cancer and teaches creativity workshops in corporations. She resides and maintains her studio just south of San Francisco.