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Travel Around The World With Ellie Hesse’s Wonderland Townscapes

Did your travel plans get cancelled this summer? I think this is a question that no one bothers to ask anymore since travels have been heavily restricted by the coronavirus outbreak. Whether our plans got completely cancelled or postponed, chances are most of us won’t get to see some of the places we were excited to discover or enjoy for a break.In the meantime, while travel bucket lists remain stagnant and cabin fever intensifies, I think that I found just the right cure to trick your brain into thinking it's been taken around the globe.


Hesse, Ellie. Pura Vida, Costa Rica. Oil on canvas. 100x100cm.

Ellie Hesse is a self-taught, multi talented painter who will help your eyes discover exotic and exciting sceneries through her art. Hesse actually specializes in three vastly different areas in her paintings: horses, baroque painting and townscapes. I actually discovered her baroque inspired work first and while I really appreciated it, her Wonderland Townscapes really touched me on a whole different level. Maybe the quarantine has made me more sensitive to art depicting the beauties of the outside world, reminding me of the carefree times when roaming the crowded streets of a foreign place to discover the culture and admire the local architecture was a normal activity.


Hesse, Ellie. Holy City, India. Oil on canvas. 50x100cm.

Ellie Hesse’s painting subjects include Paris, Berlin, Prague, Venice and Barcelona, just to name a few. Name it, she's painted it. Travel is actually where her journey as a self-taught artist started. Born in New York in 1972, the artist is now based in Bath, Southwest England, where her and her partner, a painter himself, settled after a two-year long tour around the world in 2000. Hesse explains that "[Bath] has beautiful Georgian neoclassical architecture built using a golden sandstone and was an ideal subject to start painting." Since then, the world traveller, who speaks no less than four languages (French, Italian, Spanish & German) has also done artistic residencies in the South of France and Italy which has also served as inspiration for her craft.


Hesse, Ellie. Green Parrots in Barcelona. Oil on canvas. 100x80cm.

What really set Ellie Hesse’s work apart to me was not only her vibrant use of colors but the way she is able to translate the mood and complete feeling of a specific location into each canvas. In her painting of Barcelona, can you hear the sound of the waves crashing by the beach, as the Mediterranean city slowly awakes in the morning? Can you hear the clatter of silverware and snippets of conversations from the patrons sitting at the terrace of a traditional bistro in her Paris canvas? In her Costa Rica scene, you can almost feel the heat of the sun beaming, while the rumble of the waves goes on, mostly covered by the tropical bird sounds and tree leaves ruffling to the ocean breeze? Hesse says she actually likes to visit locations in person but then just "paint[s] from memory" which might be her secret to the beautifully expressive way she depicts those places.


Hesse, Ellie. La Vie Parisienne. Oil on canvas. 100x80cm.

Some of Hesse’s most recent paintings also include a hint of whimsy or fantastical elements, such as wild animals or unexpected characters. The artist says she "[loves] to create a dream like or magical atmosphere in work, a sense of the unexpected or unusual!" Some of the scenes are extravagant, with tigers or yaks taking over the streets of a city or while others are a surrealistic interpretation of reality, with gondolas flying in the air above the canals of Venice. Either way, Ellie Hesse’s universe is the world we all want to be in right now, away from our home, and free of the worries of the past few months. It is just the magic we need to keep us dreaming, until the day we can explore the world in all of its beauty again.


Hesse, Ellie. Flying Gondolas. Oil on canvas. 50x100cm.

You can find Ellie Hesse’s Wonderland Townscapes on her website. You can also keep up with her latest creations by following her on Instagram. Click on the following hyperlinks to find out more about her horse and baroque art.


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Hesse, Ellie. Guardians of the Taj,. Oil on canvas. 80x80cm.
Hesse, Ellie. Breezy Day in St Ives,. Oil on canvas. 50x100cm.
Hesse, Ellie. Aperitivo, Florence. Oil on canvas. 100x80cm.
Hesse, Ellie. Fun in the Sun. Oil on canvas. 100x80cm
Hesse, Ellie. Porto Harbour, Porto. Oil on canvas. 80x80cm.

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