John Ellis


September 01, 2020
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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Composites & Brushes & Layers Oh, My!


| mete'môrfęsęs | (noun) -  a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means. Origin-Latin from Greek metamorphoun 'transform, change shape.'

Brushes and Layers and Composites, Oh, My!

The only constant is change!

From flower to butterfly to bird to building, everything can change in my world.

Looking around I see the obvious beauty but also the wisps of a wild wind or the trails of where things have been. I see compressed and stretched worlds and the signs that over time beauty revealed may need to be looked for by opening much more than our eyes. By opening our minds.

Artists 'capture' our imagination. From portraits to landscapes, from still life's to fantastic worlds and more, artists have a vision and passion to create or capture something from sometimes nothing. They may have inspiration and musings from a multitude of sources but whether it's the paintbrush and canvas or the stone and chisel or my medium of choice, the camera and computer, these are just tools to realize an artists dreams. For the true art comes, no matter if it's Cezane or cell phone, from the artists mind. 

Metamorphosis is the underlying theme in much of my work, but it signifies the changes to my own life over the past few years. Changes that afforded me the opportunity to devote myself to fulfilling dreams held long and dear to me. That, and the support of friends and especially family, helped keep my passion burning bright. I am a true believer in holding on to dreams.

It 10 to 25 hours to create Wildwind Floral, Butterfly or Bird Portraits and each image consists of 75 to 200 digital layers. The Warped World architectures take an equal amount of time but only half the amount of layers. Just as many ideas for my work come in dreams as in wakefulness. I have no control (nor filter, many say).

In this presentation I will show you some tips and tricks on how I build composites with layers and brushes.


The beginnings of my love for photography began when I was about 10 years old. A friend of my dads came to visit. He was a former combat photographer having met my dad during World War II.

His showing us images he took and with my discovering dads old albums, the art form  captured my imagination. I was hooked. On my own at first with an 8th grade graduation present, a Kodak 110 Instamatic and then High School and college courses kept me on track. 

After a lot of self taught portraits for friends and family at a myriad of different jobs I finally went after my dream and got a job at a National School Photography Company where I worked for over 30 years. I reached a training position where I travelled the country and trained photography of all levels. Some of the photography I trained included, portraits, groups, events and sports. 

My personal commercial business also did products, weddings and fine art which is what I devote my time to now, selling at Art Festivals around the state.

I have been a member of PPA for 22 years have achieved Master of Photography and Master Artist Degrees. 

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