I'm exhibiting online only again this year - browse the full catalogue of over 60 paintings on my website, 1-23 May.
The Japanese have a word for it (shinrin-yoku). And forest bathing is simply being in the present moment amid the trees, and returning refreshed and renewed.
The Welsh have a phrase for it. Dod yn ôl at fy nghoed means to ‘return to a balanced state of mind,’ but it’s literally ‘to return to my trees’ (Robert Macfarlane on Twitter 20.05.20).
Working largely in the woods on Shotover Hill near Oxford, my recent work relates to the sheltering, restorative and energising of effects of being among trees in ancient woodland.
In some paintings I’m more attuned to visual cues.
But in others, the marks are notations of pure sound - of birds, leaves, branches, deer, foxes, atmosphere and weather.
Processing the stream of sensory information on paper creates a calligraphy of branches and birdsong, at the overlap of outer and inner landscapes and at the borders of description and abstraction.
But whatever the immediate impetus, the paintings are more about experience that can’t be seen - the processes of perception - than things that can be seen.
Ella exhibits widely and shows include the Royal Cambrian Academy Open 2021, the Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2017-2019, and solo exhibitions at the University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry and the Wall Gallery, Ely.
In 2020, she received an Arts Council England award via Jelly Arts, Reading, for a lockdown At Home Residency for her Birdsong Perceptual Field project, working with birdsong in ancient woodlands.
Alongside her studio practice, Ella teaches painting and drawing in innovative, experimental workshops which combine the best of both contemporary and traditional approaches. News of summer and autumn classes is coming soon.
Her work is in the collections of the University of Oxford (Wytham Woods Research Station), the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, the Perse School, Cambridge, and private collections around the UK, the USA, Canada, France and Australia.
Ella trained at Oxford Brookes University and Winchester School of Art. She completed her MA Fine Art ( Distinction) in 2010 and was a Visiting Lecturer in life drawing at Winchester the following year and Visual Arts Therapist at the School of Life, London, 2013-17.