Above, the painting area of my studio, with a gallery wrapped canvas of the Addy Sea, "Out of the Mist" on the left about to receive a few hand embellishments and an oil in progress of the back bay area on the right.
Ellen Rice, sharing inspiration with brush and pen
A commission in progress of the view from Herring Point, Cape Henlopen, Delaware, with the National Harbor of Refuge outer breakwater lighthouse in the distance. Stay tuned for the finished painting in 2024.
I've been painting as far back as I can remember. What has motivated me most of my adult years is the desire to share images that bring joy, whether special moments, visions that come to me in answer to prayer, the way light dances around a beautiful scene or the emotions written on a special person's face. I was an award-winning photojournalist, but painted portraits capture so much more.
I started out with coloring books of ballerinas, then started drawing my favorite subject, horses, followed by our dogs and cats, then my sisters, mostly with pencils and watercolor but toward age 10 got into pastels. As a young mother in my 20s, I had an opportunity to illustrate the church page of my local, weekly, award-winning newspaper, drawing all sorts of things from people to scenes to illustrate ministers' weekly messages. People took notice and started asking me to paint portraits. I taught myself oil portraits from a number of "how to" books.
At the newspaper, I soon started freelancing as a photographer and gradually, feature writer and local government reporter. Somehow it all worked together and my following as an artist grew as I began to show my work.
I went back and forth between journalism and fine art for about a decade, before a personal interest project, a pen, ink and watercolor map of the maritime history of the Mid-Atlantic region where I grew up in a Navy family that I'd researched for more than 15 years, was written about by a Gannett paper and began selling all over the country. Then an AP newspaper did the same and I wound up on QVC, representing the state of Delaware in its "Quest for America's Best" from each state. QVC sold out of the 600 maps they'd ordered in five minutes.
My work took off even more after that and with no retail experience but a lot of hope I opened a small gallery in my home town of Ocean View, Delaware. Within five years it became one of the most successful galleries its size in the nation. Then after almost 20 years of success, came four years of road construction, two moves, and the pandemic. I transformed the gallery into a studio on my own property when my landlady sold the gallery's building. Despite fears of being too isolated, it, too, is doing well.
Today, I work from two studios, one on the third level of my home, where I paint private commissions, and my purposefully built studio (a scene shown at the top of this page) in a separate, ground level building on my property, where I work on non-commissioned paintings, sign prints, host small events and welcome guests for Open Studios on scheduled days every week and by appointment.
My new studio is a source of peace, with a 20-foot-wide expanse of north-facing floor to ceiling windows and sliding glass doors overlooking the natural setting of the southeastern side of southern Delaware's 150-acre James Farm Ecological Preserve.
About a mile inland from the Atlantic Ocean on a small peninsula surrounded by salt water bay, I'm close enough to the ocean that I can hear waves breaking on the shore when the breeze is coming from the east and I can see the twinkly red lights of the Indian River inlet bridge at night. During storms it doesn't matter which direction the winds come from or that all the windows are closed. It can be a roar. The rhythm of waves is in the background of most of my work and is perhaps part of the feeling of peace people feel when viewing my paintings. My studio and gallery showroom and these website pages provide ways for you to explore my ongoing work, completed originals, and archival giclee reproductions that are now found in homes and corporate and government collections in 18 countries on four continents. If I stop to think about the latter fact, it amazes me.
"Winding Peace", a new oil of the backbay area of southeastern Delaware. Original sold.
You're invited to visit my studio & gallery when in the area. Its location, about 2 miles and just three turns from Coastal Highway near Bethany Beach on relatively quiet roads, makes it easy to bypass most of the beach traffic.
To arrange a consultation about a portrait or other commissioned work, or to come on days that are not scheduled for Open Studios, please call the studio at (302) 539-3405 and I'll do my best to accomodate you.
I go back and forth between both studios. Saturday is the most likely day you'll find me in the ground-level studio.
Please note when viewing paintings online that the images are digital and viewed on almost any mobile device or computer monitor cannot accurately represent the nuances of colors, depth and luminescence of these paintings.
Paintings and prints are always best appreciated in person, though I do have people purchase original paintings via these images with complete satisfaction.
“One of Delaware’s Most Collectible Artists” ~ Delaware Beach Life Magazine “Best Artist, Sussex County, Delaware”~ Coastal Style Magazine “PNC Artist of the Year”~ commission award of PNC Financial “One of Delaware’s Three Best Beach Artists”~ Delaware Today Magazine "One of the Top 10 Must See Galleries and Museums in Delaware” ~ The Culture Trip Beebe HealthCare Commission Awardfeatured artist, South Coastal Delaware Great American Paint-In"artist chosen to represent the State of Delaware
If you'd like to be among the first to learn about Ellen's new paintings and debuting prints, small gift items featuring Ellen's paintings, special events and other studio news, please enter your email address below and select your specific areas of interest. Your privacy is important to us and we do not sell or share your email with anyone, ever.
All images, design and text Copyright Ellen Rice Associates, LLC, Ocean View, Delaware, 2024. All rights reserved.