Ellen Kier began her career as a graphic designer after receiving a BFA in Design from Carnegie Mellon University. Kier spent fifteen years at The New York Times and the communication design firms Adam, Filippo and Moran in Pittsburgh and Wickham and Associates in Washington, DC. Her work in art direction and design has been widely acknowledged and published, with recognition and awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Communication Arts, Graphis Annual, Creativity Magazine, Society of Illustrators, and The Art Directors Clubs of Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The increasing use of computers in graphic design, however, led her toward painting, since Kier’s passion has always been for the tactile nature of drawing. She began to study oil painting at the National Academy of Design, and subsequently exhibited her work at The National Arts Club, The Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center, Chair and the Maiden Gallery, and at the juried 175th Annual Exhibition at the National Academy. Her work is currently displayed in many private collections.
“As an artist, I try to capture the luminosity of light falling on surfaces. My painting process aims to simplify the image into shapes of light and shadow, while capturing the rhythm and essence of my subjects.” The importance of composition in Kier’s work reflects her graphic design aesthetic -- her subjects come to life on canvas as she translates the light’s abstract shape into values and forms. Whether working from a landscape or a model, Kier’s understanding of the fluid movement of color conveys both the likeness and the spirit of her subjects. An avid hiker and biker, Kier’s love for outdoor photography continues to inform and inspire her work as she pursues the light in its endless variations. Much of her work features her family and friends. Kier lives and works in New York City, and is available for personal viewings and commissions.