Ellen was born Deaf in Manhattan, New York, and grew up in New Jersey for 7 years. She went to public school and learned poorly without sign language and interpreters. Ellen spent her summers in Goldens Bridge countryside, north of New York City. She earned a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Ellen has led a life filled with art and experience. A background in drawing, painting, batik, ceramics, and many other mediums have brought her onto her current journey. When she moved to Maryland, she began to recognize just how much her Deaf identity had been part of her artwork. Life was starting to blossom as she was surrounded by Deaf culture and sign language, and she began developing increasingly colorful images using watercolors, oil paintings and tile paintings in her artwork.
Ellen has had commissions for handpainted tiles for mural decorations, kitchen backsplashes, fireplace mantel surroundings, and murals behind ranges over the last 20 years. She led many workshops in ceramics, drawings and paintings for over 200 Deaf children, children of Deaf parents, and adults.
Ellen keeps a home studio called Ellen TileStroke Studio in Frederick, Maryland. The studio has a kiln for firing both low and high fire tiles from greenware to final glazing in the range of 1922 and 2174 degrees. She works in a variety of aesthetic and technical styles including sculpted relief, carved plaster blocks, tile presses and mosaic tiles. All the tiles are finished in a wide palate of earthenware and stoneware glazes.