Ellen Schuster

“Growing up in Austin, I was surrounded by art from a young age. The landscape, as well as the culture, inspired me. I channeled that inspiration into interior design and art history degrees at Baylor University. Not until my three daughters graduated from high school did I begin pursuing my passion for visual art. Master classes from Italy to New York City (most especially the two years at The Art Students League of New York) refined my style and technical approach to creating abstract expressionist paintings in acrylic and oil. I often incorporate mixed media for added depth and texture, enhanced by palette knives, brushes and thick impasto.

An education in art theory, coupled with experience as an interior designer, adds a distinctive aspect to my work. I intentionally leave each piece unvarnished, allowing for client input before sealing any painting. I welcome the privilege of considering clients’ needs to create original works in custom sizes and color palettes, extending the opportunity to personalize art to individual surroundings.

The spiritual informs each piece for both private commissions and public exhibitions. Dominique de Menil said, “We are cluttered with images… abstract art can bring us to the threshold of the Divine.” How aesthetically symbolic of life it is when a blank canvas comes alive with layers and textures that evoke emotion, tell a story and draw us to the beauty we are created to crave. Brené Brown’s work with vulnerability has also been formative, pushing me – in art and in life – to embrace the freedom in admitting we are imperfect and wired for struggle.

From an art history perspective, I often look to abstract expressionists such as Joan Mitchell, Jackson Pollack and Lee Krasner for inspiration as they painted from an internal compulsion, channeling onto their canvases emotions they often could not name through cathartic mark making. “The key is what is within the artist,” said Krasner. “The artist can only paint what she or he is about.” I am discovering as I paint what is within, experimenting with techniques as I process life experiences.

My hope is to create big paintings with bold statements that impact the heart. I love bringing beauty into peoples’ lives, something that enhances the everyday with glimpses of the sublime. Thank you so much for choosing to explore with me.”