An award-winning Sleaford-based artist who has had pieces exhibited as far afield as Australia has some of her work on display closer to home this month as part of a summer open exhibition.
Former Kesteven and Sleaford High School pupil Ellie Benton, 27, will see her work displayed at the Carre Gallery, in Carre Street, Sleaford, for the second year running.
Ellie has always had an interest in painting from a young age, and studied graphic design at Nottingham Trent University.
She said: “I find painting a great outlet from the structure and limits of design, which often has a goal to meet the restricting demands of a brief.”
In 2012, Ellie found the style with which she currently works – vibrant pictures of animals and people.
She uses acrylic paint and large brush strokes to create her paintings.
Ellie said: “I enjoy the challenge of taking a monochromatic image and injecting it with explosions of colour.”
On why Ellie enjoys painting so much, she said: “It makes me so happy. It is a good way to express myself and process my emotions and feelings.”
A future project will see Ellie paint a chimpanzee every year, using a different facial expression which reflects Ellie’s personality and mood.
Ellie hopes that in 20 years’ time she will be able to exhibit these chimpanzees, demonstrating how the mood of each painting changes.
On the mood of her paintings, Ellie said that she sometimes ‘craves different colours’ and can wake up one morning deciding that she would like to paint with reds, oranges and pinks.
She currently has work on display at the Itch Gallery, in Oakham, and at Macgregor Fine Art gallery, in Glasgow.
Some prints of her work are also available to buy from the National Centre for Craft and Design, in Navigation Wharf, Sleaford.
Ellie also spent some time living in Australia, and was able to exhibit her work there, selling 18 of the 20 paintings she did while living there.
She plans on travelling to India to explore and experience different cultures.
Last year, Ellie won the Lincolnshire Pride Magazine Award after taking part in the summer open competition.
She said: “Awards wise, this is the first thing that I have won.”
Her award then saw her gain media coverage in the magazine.
On what Ellie enjoys about painting, she said: “I love hearing what people think about my work.”
To view paintings for sale, visit www.elliebenton.com or search for Ellie Benton Paintings on Facebook.
The summer open exhibition is running at the Carre Gallery until Sunday, August 6, so there is plenty of time to see work created by Ellie and other artists.