Ellen Dudley Bio

Artist's Statement:

I began drawing and painting animals as soon as I had a crayon in my hand.  I started showing and selling wildlife paintings in galleries about 35 years ago.  About 15 years ago I put painting aside to give full attention to my family. Once the kids were grown, I came back to painting and found my painting and I had changed.  I currently live and paint in Wyoming. 

When I first painted wildlife my intent was to portray wild animals in true-to-life, intimate situations.   My focus and interest was the animals, and the principles of good painting - composition, design, value, color -  were merely the tools I used to create the image.  I now continue to study and paint wildlife, but my focus has shifted to capturing the patterns, light, composition, and design I see in the wild.  My paintings are evolving into something more abstract - more "art" than traditional "wildlife art". 

The drawing of the animals and landscape is still accurate and strong, and the action is more true-to-life and intimate than ever because my competence in locating and getting close to wild animals keeps expanding.  The finished paintings are developed in the studio, but working in the field with the actual wildlife, landscape, and light is as essential as ever because the process is to abstract the elements not impose them. 

The term "wildlife art" as it is traditionally applied may no longer define my work.  "Wildlife impressionism" might be more accurate because, more than anything else, my paintings are about light.