Painting with knives: the art of Ellen Voets
The wildlife artist
Ellen Voets’ paintings have a highly tactile quality and could almost be called three-dimensional. Using a palette knife she applies large quantities of oil paint to the canvas with speed and precision and from the mêleé of colour an animal emerges.
Her technique underlines the raw nature of her subject matter and radiates dynamism. Her expressive use of colour gives her large-scale paintings a character all of their own. The animal kingdom in all its facets has long been an inexhaustible source of inspiration to Ellen; each year she returns to Africa on safari. Her paintings really capture animals as they are in the wild, camouflaged and difficult to spot at first sight. Looking at one of her paintings is just like driving through a game park: what seems to be undergrowth turns out to be an animal on careful examination.
Groups of animals hold a particular fascination for Ellen: the power of a herd of African elephants, the social behaviour of a family of monkeys, or the watchfulness of a lioness guarding her cubs at play. Her distinctive broad strokes enable Ellen to convey, for example, the majestic quality of the elephant and its unique skin structure, with neutral grey replaced by bright multidimensional colour.
Recently Ellen has directed her attention towards the elegant body language of horses, whose dynamic mobility capture the imagination. Not grazing horses, but a four-in-hand in the heat of the race or wild horses at full gallop coming straight at the spectator, so lifelike that one involuntarily takes a step backwards.
Also of late the human form has re-entered her paintings, though always in relation to animals: a jockey on his horse, an African warrior alongside a surprised zebra, a camel with its driver.
Many art lovers are enthralled by the playful way in which Ellen’s paintings seem to come alive and have grown to much appreciate the special quality of her work, which combines accessibility with a rare sense of mysticism
Atheneum Mgr Zwijssencollege Veghel
1976 - 1982
Painting and graphics classes at Institute Pieter Brueghel Veghel
1982 - 1987
Academy / Teachers Educational drawing / painting Tilburg
1990 - 1991
(Full time) Art Consultant at Business Art Service Raamsdonksveer
1991 - 1995
(Freelance) gift paper designer at Design & Creation in Helmond
(Part time) Lecturer Aesthetic Forms at the Graphic Lyceum in Eindhoven
1991 - 2000
(Part time) Teacher of drawing / painting on various creativity centers
1993 - 2001
Organization Open Studio Days Deurne / Asten
2000 - 2001
(Part time) Art Leasing Consultant at Holland Art Group in Eindhoven
(5 months raid) Teacher signs to the Peelland College in Deurne
(1 month incidence) Lecturer art / drawing at the Vocational Eindhoven
(5 months) Lecturer CDA to VMBO Burgt School in Eindhoven
2008 - 2010
(Part time) Lecturer CDA to VMBO Commandery College in Gemert
1992 - present
Visual artist in his own studio, Men Mountain 1 in Deurne (N.Br.)
Exhibitions at various galleries (in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain).
2010 - present
(Part time) Lecturer in Visual Arts Havo / VWO Commandery College in Gemert
2015 - 2016
Owner Gallery & Atelier Ellen Voets in Sint Oedenrode