Ellie Polk

Ellie Polk

About the Artist

Ellie Polk

Pacific Northwest

  • Style: Abstraction, Non-representational & Non-representational
  • Medium: Oil on canvas, Watercolor, Gouache, Acrylic and Pen and ink

Polk, a graduate of Harvard University, first studied art under Albert and Gertrude Pels at their fine arts academy as a child, and was subsequently accepted into the specialized studio and academic art program at the High School of Music and Art in NYC. While ultimately having an established career in higher education, she never stopped working behind the scenes on her painting and eventually left her tenured college faculty position to devote herself to a life of creating visual art in a range of its manifestations.

Taking inspiration from the amazing wealth of movements that flourished in the early 20th century, Polk's consistent influences have been such early colorists as Wassily Kandinsky and the later color field painter Mark Rothko. While the majority of her work is in abstract expressionism, she continues to be deeply influenced by biomorphism and the works of Jean Arp and Barbara Hepworth.

A synesthete (one whose senses cross over}, Polk sees music and hears color; as such, virtually all her works are visual representations of music she listens to.

Most recently a jurist at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center in Washington State, her paintings are found in private collections in New York City, Denver, Santa Barbara, Flagstaff, Huntington Beach, and Seattle.

Her work is also found on album covers and associated with the improv group Spontanea; the group's music, her covers for the group, and a podcast interview with her can all be found at rightbrainrecords.com.

As for a personal statement to explain her work, Polk prefers quoting Gustav Klimt, perhaps best known for his work, "The Kiss." "There is nothing special about me. I'm a painter...whoever wants to know something about me ought to look carefully at my pictures."