Five questions to Ellen Sherman

Five questions to Ellen Sherman

Visual artist Ellen Sherman lives and works in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She graduated from Michigan State University with a BFA in Studio Art. Her work is in collections in the US, Canada, Japan, Greece, Israel and the Netherlands. 

How did you get into art?

I’ve always been making things; painting, drawing, making sculptures out of things I find outside. My first job after graduating with my BFA in Studio Art was as lead artist for a mobile game studio. I made characters, levels, little bug animations - but I missed working with my hands. I left that job in 2011 to pursue painting full time.



How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?

I focus on exploring my ideas in the abstract. I use big fields of color and graphic contour marks to move the viewer’s eye through my work, sometimes hinting at organic shapes and forms, other times repeating marks and motion to invoke pattern.

How do you go about developing your work?

My practice begins with sketches, color studies or writing about what sort of feeling I want to elicit in the work. My work is driven by experimentation, the exploration of materials and process and the search for little discoveries in the layers.

Who or what influences you?

I am influenced and inspired by Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Make us curious. What is planned next?

My next big thing is a project I’ve named “Wall as Canvas”, that challenges the idea of a framed paper or stretched canvas as the final form for painted work. I cut up pieces of paintings and lay them in a pile, inviting members of the community into my studio to tape them up on the walls in any layering/fashion they see fit. Photographs are taken and the process begins again.