RAY ELLIS was born in Philadelphia in 1921 into a family of artists. As a young boy, he was exposed to the great works of art on Sunday outings to museums with his parents and siblings. By the age of ten, he knew he wanted to be a painter.
Ellis studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art until he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. He spent many off-duty hours painting the coast of Maine and once deployed, the South Pacific and Australia. After the war, Ellis continued to paint and had a one-man show at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1948.
Since those early days, Ellis has traveled extensively, painting on all seven continents, and his subject matter ranges from seascapes to landscapes to Western paintings to cityscapes to still lifes to sporting art. In 2004, he was honored with a retrospective show which traveled to three museums and also with the Salmagundi Club Medal of Honor for lifetime achievement in the arts. He was chosen to paint the White House Christmas card for three consecutive years. Ellis resides on Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Teddie, and works in his dream studio where his easel catches the high northern light and he is surrounded by an extensive collection of art books which he loves to study.