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"To paint after nature is not a matter of copying the objective world, it's giving shape to your sensations."  - Paul Cezanne

Ellen Blum is a NYC-based artist and swimmer whose recent work focuses on the nature of and our relationship with water. Born in Chicago, IL, Ellen received her BFA from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

When the pandemic hit, pools closed, and I took up open-water swimming. I started feeling connected to nature in a new way and began a painting series about ‘mostly water,' and what it means to be human – and sentient. Using water I collect from taps, oceans, lakes, rivers, and harbors, I mix them with watercolors, inks, and dyes, building luminous color washes and mark-making layers to evoke aquatic life, light, reflections, and shadows in my paintings. I hope viewers come away with a dynamic yet gently calming (or sometimes even playful) sensation. I like the idea that despite roiling waves above, there are often wonders and more tranquil waters to be found below the surface.

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