I grew up in the Northeast Louisiana town of Monroe where I first noticed my artistic talent in the second grade while drawing a swan for a class illustration of The Ugly Duckling. My report cards throughout grade school reflected a hidden world, where I preferred to wander, distracted from my teacher's lesson. "Doesn't pay attention" and "Daydreams" would be the constant warning from teachers to my parents.

The intervention doesn't seem to have worked, but I think I'll be okay. ;)

In the late 1980's, I relocated to North Mississippi, where I focused my creative energy into writing for The Panolian of Batesville, Mississippi. The result was a humor column published by that newspaper for the next four years, called "Keeping Up With the Joneses".

The newspaper life demanded several moves throughout Mississippi, with temporary relocation to Honolulu, Hawaii, and Fredericksburg, Virginia.

In 1999, I sustained the death of my father and the end of my first marriage, which led to my reassessment of goals and return to North Mississippi. Refocussing my talent through self-study, I began developing web sites in the dawning era of the "dot com" industry. Using design tools, instinctual and through limited forms of art study in college, I further developed my interest in design and layout, while greater experience was gained in working at newspapers and magazines. Simultaneously, I ran my own web design firm, which eventually commanded my full attention, when it started leading the industry in North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee.

During my 2007 wedding anniversary vacation in Cancun, I suddenly went into convulsions, was rushed to the intensive care unit of a Mexican hospital and diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. My treating doctor wasn't sure if I could survive a flight back to the states, but realizing nothing could be done for me there, ordered a life flight to Miami, Florida's Jackson Memorial Hospital. After a week long stay at JMH, a team of neurologists un-diagnosed the brain aneurysm (whew!) and correctly diagnosed me with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

Returning home to consider my new life in convalescence, I found my healing - once again - in art. When vision in both of my eyes was restored, I brushed my disappointment, anger and sadness onto canvas, where it became something beautiful I could start to consider. Balance and other taken-for-granted functions returned in the years that passed and brought with them a a glimmer of hope.

Creative therapy and continued education in areas of art and techniques I'd never considered, helped form my signature style, flourishing into what I believe to be its final state. My palette ranges from bright, bold colors that express a joy of life to muted, smoky tones that evoke a sense of mystery. As a native Louisianian, I sometimes paint in themes of French and Cajun History and views from ghostly bayous to Mardi Gras, in meloncholy celebration of my beloved home, that I may visit through painting.

Since 1999, I have lived in the North Mississippi town of Southaven, bordering Memphis, Tennessee. I often draw a correlation between Bourbon and Beale Streets in an exploration of past and present as I claim Louisiana, North Mississippi, and Memphis, Tennessee, as my muse.

I teach mixed media painting and printmaking courses at Tin Roof Workshops in Senatobia, Mississippi, and in continuing education courses at the main Senatobia campus of Northwest Mississippi Community College. The details of any course I will be teaching will be updated on the front page of this website as they are available.

I've also found a new passion, working in small metals and go through spurts of creating designs in bench jewelry. I will be adding pieces to the website for sale as they become available (i.e. when I stop giving everything I make away to family and friends).

For inquiries on purchasing a painting, print, metal jewelry, commissioning work or registering in a course or workshop I am scheduled to teach, please email me directly.


Copyright © 2017 ChelleEllis.net

Designed, developed & maintained by Chelle Ellis