After graduating from Williams College with a degree in History and Studio Art, Eleanor moved to Florence and studied painting and drawing at the Istituto per l’Arte e il Restauro, Palazzo Spinelli. After then painting and teaching tennis in Scottsdale, AZ, Eleanor returned to her hometown of Atlanta. There, she began her portrait-painting career and continued creating her figure-based paintings. The latter were exhibited in two solo shows in Atlanta before she moved to New York City in 2001. In New York, Eleanor attended the New York Studio School and studied with renowned portraitist Aaron Shikler and with David Levine while continuing her portrait career. Following a stint traveling through South Africa and Botswana, she returned to Atlanta. In Atlanta, she has continued to paint portraits, complete a variety of commissions, and exhibit her figurative work while starting a family. In 2007, she was included in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia’s show, “Movers and Shakers,” featuring accomplished young artists in Georgia. In 2010, she was also featured in that museum’s show “Beneath the Surface.” She currently lives in Atlanta and has three young children.
Depicting people in paintings is my way of bringing people together and exploring the different paths we all take and the common threads embedded in those journeys. Each person’s story emerges visually, whether in portraits or less-naturalistic paintings, and we recognize bits of ourselves and our own histories. The layers in my paintings represent the complexity of accumulated experience within us. Seeing the layers within others allows us to empathize and connect more deeply with them. In addition, I am very interested in the way portraiture can be used to elevate those that are generally forgotten and dismissed by our society. One of my series of paintings was of day laborers waiting outside Home Depot. I selected them as subjects because they are often seen only as a group, if noticed at all, and I hope that, by distinguishing them with individual portraits, viewers will be reminded that everyone, everywhere is a unique human being, worthy of respect and compassion. A similar theme is in the works at the moment- I am planning a show of portraits of refugee women and babies who live in Clarkston, GA. These mothers are almost completely invisible to the general population because of their isolation and language and cultural barriers. The challenge of giving birth to and raising a child in such circumstances, often with no family to assist them, is tremendous, and I hope to raise awareness of their individuality, inner and outer beauty, and tremendous strength and fortitude.
Portrait Painting with Aaron Shikler and David Levine, New York, NY
New York Studio School, New York, NY
Painting and Drawing
Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta, GA
Istituto per l’Arte e il Restauro: Palazzo Spinelli, Florence, Italy
Drawing and Painting
Williams College, Williamstown, MA
BA in History and Studio Art