Ellen Skidmore has always had trouble communicating. Her speech impediment prevented her from expressing herself, which lead to a lot of sadness for a long time. Ellen said, “All my life I have had great difficulty trying to understand the underlying nature of my existence. For a long time, I looked outside myself for connection, direction and validation. I searched and struggled with this until I could go on no more and felt my spirit was broken.”
In college, Skidmore started looking into art therapy and found a professor who really challenged her. She found that painting was the place where she was at peace. “Part of the painting process is to paint your pain and it somehow morphs into beauty,” Ellen explains, “I could paint something really sad and someone could say ‘oh my god, that just makes me so happy.'” Ellen found happiness in painting, and she really wanted to share that with people.
When thinking of how she could share her own story of accepting herself, she thought about creating a children’s book. “My own story came out in a flurry,” she remembers, “Making the book was a labor of love and it’s been very cathartic.”
Ellen wants her own story to inspire children to be more accepting of themselves. She said, “I’m just really hopeful that it will be inspiring to children, and girls especially, I want them to be captain of their own ship.” Writing her book, Ellen was able to reflect on how painting has changed her own view of herself.
Ellen is debuting a new show this week with an opening reception on Thursday, December 17th, from 6-9pm. We are so excited to see her book and her latest works on display at our gallery! You can learn more about Ellen and her remarkable story through this video.