My greatest pleasure is spending time with my family. My husband John and I have 3 wonderful children and 3 delightful grandchildren.
We live in Manchester, Missouri and enjoy traveling and hiking. Nature gives me energy and inspiration as does my spirituality.
I have always enjoyed working with my hands in a variety of hobbies, but I began my mosaic journey when my daughter, Ellen Hughes, wanted to create a mosaic backsplash for her kitchen using broken ceramic plates found on their newly purchased farm. The search was on for more blue and white china from thrift shops and the resulting mosaic border was beautiful. So I tried my hand at mosaics and I was hooked.
I love designing artwork from used or discarded items that when broken and connected turn into a single work of art. I started mosaicking on functional outdoor décor…flower pots and stepping stones…using broken pottery and glass. Then I launched into wall art and smaller pieces. The variety of found pieces (called tesserae at this point) called me to experiment with nipping and layering the pieces to see how the light reflects and plays off of them . Photographs don’t do mosaics justice…you have to see them basking in light in person.
I spend a great deal of time fitting each piece together, but it is time that I get lost in my work as I allow the process of connection become a finished piece that serves as an expression of transformation and intrigue. Each artwork is unique and one of a kind…the pieces I use may never be found again. But I can work with you to create a finished work just for you with what we can find now.
Ellen is a mom, creator, a homesteader, and a registered art therapist (ATR) who finds inspiration in the beauty of the earth, everyday rituals, family, and spirituality.
She lives in Catawissa, Missouri with Shane, Francis, and Jonah.
As a kid, I watched my mom transform our new house into a warm, beautiful home with her handmade curtains, pillows, and artwork. She taught me how to sew and encouraged experimenting with art supplies and creating with “beautiful junk” around the house. Eventually my fun hobby expanded into more traditional and formal art education. I studied painting and sculpture, earning my Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH.
I discovered the power of art to heal and connect people too. I combined these passions by continuing my studies in Art Therapy Counseling, earning a Masters degree (MAT) from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. I currently maintain a counseling license in Missouri (LPC) and Illinois (LCPC), and I am a Registered Art Therapist (ATR).
Then my career took another turn when I became a mom myself. My family moved to renovate an old farmhouse and I now currently maintain my own studio art practice. I experiment with formal materials like Old Holland oil paints and homemade damar varnish, but I use them on old can lids. I create pillows with free motion stitching and appliqué techniques for décor, but I use fabric that is meaningful like old clothes from a dear friend now deceased. I find inspiration in nature, like a sunset or sunrise or sunflowers as I explore mysteries of birth, life, and death through the creation of my art.