After college I spent many years designing and drafting commercial interiors for various companies and as an independent contractor. I started my company, Ellen Leigh Interiors, in 1990 initially as a part time interior design firm. By 1992 I was working just for myself in both residential and commercial interiors. I was exceptional at it, but it did not really challenge my creativity. Finally, at 40, I desperately wanted to get back to the painting I loved doing as a child, teen and college student, before someone convinced me I needed to have a ‘real job’.
My turning point came when I was faced with a too tight master bedroom and those too short mid century windows offering a view of nothing. I painted my first mural on the closet doors- a beautiful view of a garden through a trellis of clematis. I fell madly in love with this new way to add beauty to a home! At that moment I realized what had been missing in my life for so many years; experiencing art, color and beauty through painting and wall murals.
After trying my hand on a few more creative wall murals around my home, some decorative painting and learning a few really nifty faux finishes, I began carrying a small photo album and talking to everyone who would listen about my projects. Friends asked me to paint murals in their homes, I formed a relationship with a local wallpaper and paint store to refer me for work and I began to teach classes in faux finishing and stenciling in their store. Before I knew it, I was painting full time and had a very full portfolio of work. Through the years I have accumulated a large portfolio of murals and canvases in homes, galleries and in my own collection.
I believe I was created to paint. I lose all sense of time and step outside of myself while working. How the colors interact with each other in each brush stroke is like music to me. The interplay is magic. The art is a part of me, and I am a part of the art. God meant for me to do this, and so I do.
I love working with people to create something completely unique for their home or business. Something that says something about who they are and what they love.
I have been passionately drawing and painting since before the age of five and since returning to it have always continued learning new techniques and materials. I have nearly 40 years of professional experience in interior design and fine art, and more than 20 years of professional experience producing high quality hand-painted murals, faux finishes, and decorative painting. My work is represented in public and private collections primarily in the U.S. Murals and landscapes in acrylic are the major emphasis of my portfolio. With my strong and diversified visual arts background, my work is well-studied, yet has an expressive and impressionistic style.
My company provides more than just a painting and interior design service. It is an avenue for nurturing my love for art and painting while providing everyone their own peaceful focal point; right in their own home. To me, painting is both a joy and therapy at the same time. Often times I will immerse myself totally in the painting I am working on. I see a plain wall as a blank canvas anxiously awaiting a splash of color.
As a mural artist I specialized in wall murals and designer finishes for children’s rooms, nurseries, dining rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and just about any other space in your home or business in Wayne, Lenawee, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties here in SE Michigan. My work can be seen in many local homes and businesses, as well as in western Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
As I grow older, I am stepping back from mural painting and concentrating on fine art as much as possible. I am available for fine art commissions and interior design consultation.
Have a dream or an idea ? Just give me a call or drop me an e-mail to discuss it. Initial consultations are free and in most cases I can work within your budget.
Artwork is a wonderful luxury in our lives. Give me a call; my brushes, colors and tools are ready for you.
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B.S. Degree in Fine Arts and Interiors 1979 Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan
Classes in Faux Finishing, Mural Arts and Business at the Stencil Artisans League International Conventions- 2003 and 2006
Continuing study through experimentation with new products, materials and techniques. Networking with other professional artists.