Ray Ellis (Born 1921 – Died 2013) spent his life painting things and places he loved. He painted for over 70 years and on all 7 continents. Ellis was widely known for the originality of his paintings and was sought out for many private collections and museums in the U.S. and abroad. His paintings have been the subject of 17 books whose themes have varied widely from Martha’s Vineyard to the southern lowcountry, gardens and flowers, fishing, golf and moonlight. Beginning in 1998 for three consecutive years, he was commissioned to paint scenes of the White House by the President. The paintings were to be reproduced as the official Christmas card. Due to the quality of his work he was awarded the Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts by Salmagundi Club in 2004. Ellis’ paintings are in the permanent collections of the White House, private collections and museums worldwide.
The shores of the southeastern coast had a special meaning for him. He said that the length of the coast was so beautiful and so ever-changing and so diverse that it would take several lifetimes for a painter to do it justice. He adds that it was his intent … to capture…his impressions of each scene, each place, and each moment as it occurred in time. Ellis attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art and held his first solo show in 1947 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Ellis served for four years in the Coast Guard during Second World War, after which he founded his own advertising agency in New York and New Jersey, but continued to paint in his spare time.