Ellen Tanner earned a BFA in Graphic Design at the University of North Texas in 1998 and worked as an illustrator and graphic designer at Fossil Watch Company for 5 years. In 2003 she moved to Austin and earned a degree in Art Education from the University of Texas. During that time she devoted as much time as possible to working in the studio and teaching herself to paint. Inspired by the fine detail and luminous colors of the Flemish masters, she has sought out information on their techniques and and has cobbled together a personal approach to painting with thin glazes of color over a grisaille. She applies these skills with a microscopic focus that makes each painting a tiny yet fully realized world, rich with detail and color. Sources of inspiration include ancient tales exposing human nature, the secret lives of animals, creatures and characters in myths. These stories provide the framework which she fills with a unique cast of characters.