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Ellen Joseph
Fine Artist

“Paintings of nature are like windows that invite the viewer to step outside and experience a magical world of color.  My passion is to create works of art that evoke an expansive sense of peace and well-being.”  (Ellen Joseph, 2010.)

Today’s date: August 1, 2010

Artist website:

Ellen's contact info:

Quick family facts:  Ellen is the daughter of illustrator and fine artist, James Menzel-Joseph, She is also related to Henri Fantin-Latour, colleague of the French Impressionists, and Adolph Menzel, one of Germany's most acclaimed painters of the 19th century.  When she was very young, Ellen showed a natural ability to draw.  “There was no thinking about it,” Ellen said.  “Drawing felt so comfortable that I believe my ability must have been given to me through my family’s artistic genes and perhaps from a previous life.”

Current focus:  Art for healing environments.

Education:  Ellen received formal training at the American Academy of Art in Chicago.  At the age of 19, the young artist moved to Findhorn, a community in northern Scotland, where she worked as a resident artist.  The paintings and murals she produced for the community are still on display.  During the five years she spent at Findhorn, her works were exhibited on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and at the Royal Exchange in London.

Among the places where the artist has worked and lived:  Ellen moved to Hawaii in 1986.  During her three years on Oahu, she created many oil paintings of Oahu and Kauai, capturing the allure of the magical islands.

ellen's art

In 1990, Ellen moved to Montigny-sur-Loing, a little village near Fontainebleau, an hour south of Paris.  Here, Ellen painted “en plein aire” or outdoors in the surrounding forest of Fontainebleau and the fields and rivers near her home.  During a visit to the Pyrenees, Ellen did a painting of shepherds cutting hay on the mountainside and also eating by the fireside in their stone cottage.  She did these paintings during a film shoot for a documentary about the shepherds by filmmaker Jean-Paul Jaud.

In 1992, Ellen moved from France to the San Francisco Bay Area.  Through her mural business, “Rooms With a View,” Ellen has produced dramatic murals and paintings for commercial and residential clients in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

Following a trip to Italy, Ellen produced 15 oil paintings from her photos of Lake Como and Venice.
St. Marks by Ellen Joseph

What the critics are saying:

“In murals or faux/decorative paintings that grace Bay Area homes and businesses including the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors' Bureau lobby – the tone of Ellen Joseph’s work is serene yet inviting, drawing the viewer in to contemplate.” ~ Half Moon Bay Review.

“She has an art style singularly her own, yet throughout her extensive portfolio there are breathtaking reminders of the romantic, fantasy eye of artist Maxfield Parrish as well as visual world continuums of Monet’s garden in Giverny.  To sit in front of an Ellen Joseph mural is to set foot in wonderland.” ~ Pacifica Tribune.

Art for healing environments:  Ellen’s current direction and emphasis is on creating art that has a calming and uplifting effect on patients in hospitals, clinics and medical offices.

“I was inspired by the findings of Roger S. Ulrich, Ph.D., director of the Center for Health Design,” the artist said.  “His findings show that when patients view positive depictions of nature during recovery from surgery, there is a substantial improvement in outcomes such as blood pressure, anxiety, intake of pain medication and length of hospital stay.”

From her “Elements in Harmony” series, the artist’s painting “The Wave” looks out from the treatment room of Pacifica Naturopathic Medicine.

“Water, especially the ocean, has incredible and ancient healing properties,” Dr. Sarah Anne Rothman, ND, owner of Pacifica Naturopathic Medicine said.  “The sounds, smell, colors, cycles and movement of the ocean are so dynamic, just like our bodies and health.  Ellen's painting is so simple but so soothing. It brings calm, inner healing, quiet and peace.”

“Each painting in my “Elements in Harmony” series is not location specific,” Ellen said.  “They are of bamboo forest or of ocean or of sky.  They are universally appealing images of nature designed to soothe the eye and lift the spirit.”

“Cloud Dance,” “Blue Green Ocean,” “Sea Turtles,” “Bamboo Forest Top,” “Mountains,” and “Bird on a Wall” are among the uncomplicated, yet richly beautiful paintings by Ellen Joseph that transform the wounded heart to light, and light in turn to joy.

Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego’s Medical Center on the power of art to heal:  “Some neurophysiologists report that art, prayer and healing are all associated with similar brain wave patterns and stem from the same body source.  Art can also be viewed as a distraction to the pain and discomfort of disease, allowing patients relief from stress and increased well-being.  By relieving stress, the body’s immune system and, therefore, resistance to disease may be heightened.”

In addition to Ellen’s “Elements in Harmony” series, she has created a great number of healing paintings and healing murals.

“My joy comes from creating art that replaces the stress of the viewer with tranquility and delight.”

Donald Reichert, curator of G.W.V. Smith Art Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, once said of the beloved American Artist Maxfield Parrish: “There is in this man, Maxfield Parrish, a singular spirit that ties strangers together as old friends.”

It can be said of artist Ellen Joseph ~ There is this woman, Ellen Joseph, who teaches through her art that every blade of grass, or spray of mist and water - every face touched by wrinkle or smile, doubt or hope – every creature tied to sand, to rock, to sky, to sea and every path that leads to an innate sense of wonder – these things, these moments, belong to us all and in her paintings they are ours for the keeping.

Ellen Joseph interviewed by Jean Bartlett for Jean's Magazines

All paintings are by Ellen Joseph. Copyright © 1975 - 2011 Ellen Joseph.
All rights reserved.  Used on GrabIt with permission.