Meet Season 42 Visual Artist Ellen Brook

Ellen Brook is a mixed media artist, and fabric and fashion designer. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Ellen began her artistic journey at age 40, after a lifetime convinced that she wasn’t creative. She reoriented her life to focus on art and design. 

Ellen creates rich abstract mixed media paintings and ethereal silk hangings, and designs and creates luxuriously down-to-earth women’s apparel and accessories. She combines gesture, intuitive marks, layers of texture and a passion for color to explore Eastern ideas related to the mind, the human condition, and the healing and energetic properties of beauty and color. Her current “Message in a Bottle” mixed media series explores themes drawn from recently discovered letters written by her grandfather as a young soldier in WWI. The artist never knew her grandfather. 

Ellen’s work has been featured in solo and group art and fashion shows, selected for “ARTWEAR” at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, and used by musicians for their album cover art. 

Ellen is on the Advisory Board of the Fashion and Design Department at Cañada College. She is a juror for Art Bias Studios and leads their curation team. She is also part-time Director of Marketing for Steinway Society – The Bay Area, a non-profit organization whose mission is to present outstanding classical pianists and promote music education in the Bay Area and beyond.

A self-taught artist, Ellen holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s degree from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Instagram: ellenbrookartandfashion

Facebook: ellen.brook.5

About the Artwork:

The Sound of Color
Mixed Media
16” x 16”

Curiosity about what “color sounds like” led me on a journey of association, resulting in this mixed media painting. Songs often carry specific emotional themes, which may also create associations with very specific colors. But perhaps there’s more. As I mused, I was drawn to the idea of the “OM”, the primordial symbol representing a sacred sound. As humans, we think of sounds and colors as “real,” but they are both sensory perceptions filtered by our brain rather than inherent qualities of the objects we see or hear. Perhaps sounds (vibration) and colors (light), at their origin, are unified. I’ve symbolized this into a single white circle: the circle representing the whole of everything, with the color white being the combination of all colors.