"I regard painting as a second language. Whether working in the watercolor medium (my soul painting), or the more narrative expression of acrylic murals, I imagine the possibility of visual conversation between me and my viewers. Our common humanity—no matter our age, gender, ethnicity, or heritage—links us in experiences of beauty, struggle, hope, despair, joy and sorrow. Through painting, I have a chance to give voice to some of the human, natural, and spiritual connections we share. Painting also provides me with a means to explore—sometimes on the spot, and sometimes in retrospect—the rich experiences of my homeplace in Southwest Virginia, of travels across the US and Scotland, of activism and teaching in my community, and of seeing the world anew with my husband Don through the eyes of our grandchildren."
— Ellen Elmes