Wildflowers & Watercolor
On the side, Duarte does pen and wash illustrations that began as Christmas cards for herself. With growing attention, various drawings are now sold as blank notes at local art centers. Each year she continues to craft a new Christmas card, with this year’s design showcasing a variety of whole spices and leaves delightfully taking the shape of a Christmas tree.
Since diving deeper into her botanical art, she has started teaching watercolor and mixed media classes at the Cape Cod Art Center, offering both a morning and afternoon class on Wednesdays. In her classes, participants have the opportunity to learn botanicals from her expertise, while Duarte gains a platform to share her passion and return to teaching art. Since the class offers lessons in both watercolor and pen and wash painting styles, Duarte’s time is divided into practicing both methods that are utilized in her work.
Duarte and her husband’s time is split between their main residence in Centerville and their home in Skowhegan, Maine. As a Maine native, this allows her to stay close to her roots while enjoying the long summers on Cape Cod. As for her future plans, again it comes back to gardening, with hopes of reviving gardens in both homes. “For years, I did a lot of vegetable gardening. I had 2,400 sq. ft. at a community garden, but it got to be too much. I would like to get back into flower gardening and work at the two houses. That should keep me busy enough with gardening,” she laughs. As a flower’s life process slowly unfolds, the same can be said for Duarte’s artwork. Her realistic creations capture specific plants at a fixed moment in time, all while emanating an acute sense of liveliness through the page. With her plans to return to gardening and continue teaching, inspiration for Ellen Duarte’s painting is sure to continue blooming.
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