Abstract Expressionist Oil Painter Ellen Hallie Schiff was born and raised on Long Island, the eldest of four daughters, with both parents Psychologists. She was a creative child, through dance, and music. While raising her two children with her husband, Milan, the need for a creative outlet became insistent. On the advice of a psychic and without any previous experience, she signed up for an advanced painting class and her calling was established. Schiff’s primary goal as an artist is to communicate something of her internal self onto the canvas. Schiff creates worlds of depth and movement with her spatters, wipes, drips and rubbing. Her vocabulary is that of the mid-Century Abstract Expressionists. Huge influences are Mark Rothko, Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell.
“An essential truth seems to come alive when I use my body to create my paintings- something visceral and muscular; a directness that feels so ‘right’.
The authentic mark is what I am after; the true, non-gimmicky, not contrived mark; the mark that is made when “I am the painting I am painting’. The marks that are made with intention as well as those that are made off-hand; marks that are thought about, marks that are incidental and accidental. Playing with the paint, trying to be ‘in the moment’. When things are going well, I create an authentic moment in time.
In her newest collection of work, FULL FRONTAL, Gallerist Frances Coleman notes, “Schiff uses her rectangle motif not as an anchor, but as a diving board, from which springs idiosyncratic lines, spatters, heavily layered paint, color gradations and drips. The rectangle in the square is an expansive format for the artist’s process-driven abstractions.”
Schiff’s work is in many private collections throughout the United States and Europe.
She is Vice-President of The Art Guild in Port Washington and is on the Art Advisory Council of The Port Washington Public Library.
Schiff teaches Abstract Painting to adults at The Artist’s Studio and The Art Guild on Long Island