Ellen Eagle is an American artist, best known for her figure drawings and portraits in pastel. At an intimate scale, Eagle’s subjects are friends, fellow artists, and professional models drawn from life by natural light. Her work is characterized by restraint of color, self-containment, and the depiction of her subjects’ emotional states. Eagle’s delicate figurative work can be described as exquisite, able to effortlessly manipulate pastel to create soulful, lyrical portraits. She is known for her reflective self-portraits, which can at times appear whimsical, and are a study in the trials and tribulations of the life of an artist.
Eagle values honesty in art above all else.
She has an aversion to flamboyancy in her models and prefers modesty in appearance as well as demeanor. Eagle describes her pastel portraits as undeniable extensions of herself, and representative of her temperament. Eagle is quoted saying “I’m a quiet person, and I’m looking for the simplest possible expression. Simplicity feels right for me.”
Eagle describes her painting preference as delving more deeply than surface appearance to offer a glimpse of an inner life. In several of her paintings, she pictures a moment in which she steps back from the easel, removes her glasses, and looks again literally and figuratively. She wants to make sure what she sees is how it actually appears. Eagle wants her paintings to say “here I am, as I really am.”
One of Eagle’s more famous paintings was of Miss Leonard. Eagle admired her elegance and demeanor. Eagle was painting a friend, Lisa, but was forced to stop as Lisa became deathly ill. Her passion and emotions stemming from thinking about her ill friend guided her in her painting of Miss Leonard.
As an Art Ambassador for Royal Talens, Ellen uses Rembrandt Soft Pastels.