Raymond Ellis George Biography

Raymond Ellis George

1921-2005

Biography

"I have spent my life painting things and places I love. These shores of the southeastern coast have special meaning for me…. The length of the coast is so beautiful and so diverse and so ever-changing that it would take several lifetimes for a painter to do it justice. However, it was my intent … to capture…my impressions of each place, each scene, each moment as it occurred in time…"
– Ray Ellis

 Born in Philadelphia on April 24, 1921, Raymond George Ellis grew up on Lismore Avenue in Glenside, Pennsylvannia. He began painting as a child and spent his life celebrating each day — both on canvas and in the world he shared with Theodora (Teddie) Axtell, his wife of 28 years. He attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, and in 1947 at the age of 26 had his first one-man show at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After serving four years in the Coast Guard during World War II, he married Elizabeth Ketcham, who predeceased him in 1972. Mr. Ellis pursued watercolor painting while working in advertising to support his family, eventually founding his own advertising agency with offices in New Jersey and New York.

He was elected to the American Watercolor Society and in 1968 to the Salmagundi Club vin New York, the oldest established professional art association in the country. Other New York memberships included The Century Association, the Artists' Fellowship, and The Lotos Club.

From 1969 onwards, he worked exclusively as an artist.

Mr. Ellis felt his life became truly charmed during the 1980s when he and Teddie built their summer home on Martha's Vineyard, eventually making it their year-round residence. In the 1980s, Ray Ellis and the late television journalist Walter Cronkite collaborated on a series of three books depicting America's coastlines in word and image: South by Southeast, North by Northeast, and Westwind.

For three consecutive years beginning in 1998, Mr. Ellis was commissioned by President and Mrs. Clinton to paint scenes of the White House to be reproduced as their official holiday greeting card. In 2004, the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Ga., created a major traveling exhibition of his paintings. He was awarded the Salmagundi Club's Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts in 2004. He painted on all seven continents. His works have been exhibited in United States embassies around the world and are in the permanent collection of the White House as well as in museums around the country.

Ray Ellis of Edgartown died at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital on Oct. 4 of complications from a stroke. He was 92.

https://www.rayellis.com/In%20Memoriam.html / http://www.cherylnewbygallery.com/artists/painters/ray-ellis