Artist in Residence
Ellen Langford is a painter whose body of work is inspired by landscapes, chance meetings, and the South’s mighty cross-currents. Ellen notices and captures the relationships between the land and its inhabitants – a child with his dog, a clothesline in the breeze, a figure with the landscape. We don’t only see them in her paintings, we feel that joyful connection.
Langford worked for years as a paramedic in central Mississippi. She became heavily influenced by the often tender narratives of her patients’ stories, as well as the quiet rituals that they incorporate into their lives. As the parent of a young boy herself, and owner of chickens and dogs, Ellen often incorporates children and animals into her compositions as she finds sweetness and vulnerability in their movements, as well as joy and adventure.
Native to Mississippi, Ellen has pursued academic studies in her craft in New York, San Francisco, DC, and Italy, among other places. However, her work took on its recognizable narrative quality when she returned to her home in the Deep South.
Langford’s painting process involves layers of paint, often sanded away and then glazed over, searching for shape and pattern, color, and texture, to build the story worlds her figures inhabit. (Bio courtesy of Betsy-Rose Weiss of the American Folk Art Gallery in Asheville, NC).