Blanche Ellis

Born in London, I love to travel, but am now living back where I grew up, in Camden Town.

My great love is drawing from life. I draw, scenes, crowds and portraits on public transport, capturing a moment and a movement. Self taught and fascinated by faces and gestures, my studio is most often the London transport system.

Because of this I tend to work in a fast and fluid way which feeds into the, almost always, figurative drawings that come from my mind. Drawing, dancing and music feel akin to me, the arc of a line is the gesture of the body and the sign of a melody. My figurative work often plays along the line of abstraction and I find many of my bodies in a state of metamorphosis.


I’ve also set up and worked on live illustration and community art projects experimenting with writing, symbols and visual language. I’m fascinated by how images and words run together and alongside, and by the writing that patterns our public and private spaces. I am a great lover of handwriting and letter writing. These things in turn, all feed back into my work.

Please contact me if you have any comments or questions about my work, prints, commissions or collaborations!

To view work see the galleries.

Thank you for visiting






Recent Posts

Ongoing CALL OUT to Authors and Poets – Textual Illustration for The Image.

In reverse of the usual order…illustrating drawings with text… to be combined into a book, and exhibition.

I’m still looking for contributors/collaborators for this project.

There are over 40 artworks to be illustrated and I’ll be publishing them gradually here and on my social media @BlancheEllisArt as the project progresses… so keep an eye out here. I may also be putting up snippets of the writing I’ve received… with permission of the authors.


Changing shape…

Even since I posted about this last week the idea has developed, mostly because of the amazing responses I’ve had already from friends, strangers, other artists, an art-book maker and poets and authors from different backgrounds, and languages. And have found many secret authors in my acquaintances.

I’m so happy to be receiving this fount of creativity!   


Words lead words… 

It’s even leading me to write myself, in an attempt to track what I am looking for. Other people draw out my words with their own wonderful phrases and I feel the pitch, the roll and magnetism of the word collaboration, a force all of it’s own… changing the shape of my intension as it unfolds. Perhaps a preface…

“Word-turns apt in riddle and rhythm to trip and roll the mind causing backtrack, retrace, and circled in so turning, the sentence sense embraced. The way a picture leads the eye, not forward to finality but, with concentric in-conclusions, as a dance that makes sense-of-a-step does so by leading you both too-and-fro and leaving you, not locked, but poised by punctuation.”


Drink Me –

The Story-World…

The initial idea was that each piece of text be another ‘moment’ from the images story-world, a suggestion or clue that opens up the narrative to further interpretation rather than attempting to complete, or explain the picture itself. Instead of finished stories I’m looking for writing that echoes or extends the sense of mystery and magical-realism, and may do so without obvious reference to the image itself. It could be specific, detailed, atmospheric or impressionistic. All and any ideas appreciated!

As the project opens up I think the writing could be in anthropological, an impossible recipe, a critique of a non-existant novel (think J. L. Borges), a short letter, a completely brazen critique of a character, or of the picture itself .

Ideas abound

Please share any ideas here or by email at

See more of the images on Instagram and in the previous post and call out

Thank you for stopping by!


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