Ellie Hipkin Art Story:
I suffered great bereavement when I lost my brother, then both my parents in close succession, as well as my 3 aunts. At the same time our daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 1. All of this turned our lives upside down, we had to learn to manage our daughters’ condition and how life changing it truly is, going down to one income, as well as processing the great tragedy of losing so many I loved. Our little family of 4 was the only thing that kept me going.
My other great comfort was creativity, I truly believe creativity is a great therapy and really clears the mind. Nature became my great source of inspiration and living in Brighton we have the sea on one side and the South Downs on the other. I feel so lucky to have so much natural beauty around us. I have noticed when we are out within nature and away from modern distractions, I can see it having such positive impact on our mood, especially for our daughter because her blood sugar levels are greatly impacted by her mental well being.
Over time my style of painting has developed using a mixture of painting, with mono printing (using seedheads, grasses and any other things we find during our walks) and adding texture with free motion embroidery. Inspired by the beautiful scenery in Sussex I mainly paint landscapes and seascapes creating a sense of calm that nature gives me. My artwork always starts with the use of colour; the changing of the seasons or how the sun is reflecting off the sea. Taking photographs or sketching to capture the moment. Foraging and beach combing for pebbles, seed heads and grasses, I use these finds to inspire the embroidery detail within the paintings. Often leaving the threads to hang free, the embroidery brings movement and depth to the painting. At times adding a little hand embroidery to create further texture.
I studied BA (Hons) Fashion Design at Nottingham Trent University between 1996 and 1999. And worked as a fashion designer for 12 years before giving it up for our family. My time working as a designer had me travelling globally, the plethora of cultures I experienced has had a strong influence on my artwork. The use of textile print, embroidery, embellishment and hand painted techniques, I think bring to life the natural beauty of the landscapes along the south coast.
I run workshops at Made and Making studios just outside of Brighton. I love to share my textile art techniques with others as I truly believe creativity can be a therapy and learning something new is a great way to spend a day!
I paint full time from my home studio in Brighton, showing my work at local galleries and exhibitions around Sussex and London. I also design a range of homewares products under my own brand Freyelli Designs.