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Chris Ellis: Aqua Luminous

A painting featuring greens, yellows and brown and presents the reflection of a tree on water with lots of wiggly lines

Chris Ellis
Evening Breeze – Horseshoe Lagoon, 2015
Oil on Canvas
Image courtesy of the artist

Aqua Luminous refers to the effects of light on water and the human response to it. In this body of work, artist Chris Ellis showcased paintings depicting his continued interest in, and observation of, natural bodies of water throughout the Riverina.

Ellis was inspired by the abundant life within the Riverine Ecosystems. His observation of sounds, smells, and colours throughout the year formed the subject of his paintings, whereas the study of light in the environment at different times of the day inspired the mood and feel of the work.

Reflections and shadows on the water and movements and ripples in the water were combined to make a range of abstract patterns on the water. Ellis used Indian Ink, watercolour, gouache and pastel, in various combinations as well as photos to record information for paintings.

Through his works Ellis aimed to demonstrate the relevance of contemporary landscape painting to the modern world, in its ability to remind viewers of their interdependence with their natural landscape.

About the artist

Chris Ellis was born in Albury in 1961. He spent his childhood growing up on a farm north of Walla Walla where he started drawing before he could walk, and was given his first set of oil paints at age nine. When Ellis wasn't helping out on the farm, he could be found in the farm workshop making a model boat from a scrap of wood, a bow and arrow or some other weapon from steel or out in the paddock painting the landscape.

Ellis studied Fine Art at Caulfield Institute of Technology in 1980 and 1981. During 1982 he starting farming in the Henty district and despite the work load on the farm, constructed a studio space in the early nineties where he was able to continue to paint when time permitted. In 2013, Ellis retired from active farming and moved to Albury when he began as a full-time artist.