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Featured Artist: Ellen Rutledge, March 2024

Building 30 West's Featured Artist of the month is Ellen Rutledge! Read for an interview with Rutledge about her art process and career.

Seattle artist Ellen Rutledge creates rich works on paper using the venerable techniques of metal plate etching and hand-printing. Each image is carefully layered with foundpapers, collage elements and hand-coloring that enrich the printing process. Rutledge’s work evokes the domestic sphere of home and hearth.


How would you define your distinctive artistic style and the elements that characterize it?

My visual vocabulary is a hodge podge of worn, used and common objects. They are a constant and ongoing fascination for me and I like puzzling their implications to human activities and thought as well as their metaphorical references. In addition to cakes and purses and birds and gloves, I like to use text from old books, not only for the ongoing stories in life but for the beauty of lines and letters and old pages.

Can you describe the routine or creative flow that guides your artistic process?

The intaglio print process has been meaningful in this process. It allows me the freedom to repeat, layer, sculpt and juxtapose color, line and shape. By imbedding text, maps and my own drawings into the work through the old technique of chine colle, I add reference to daily life and its complexity. The production of my pictures involves multiple print techniques including dry point, photo etch, soft ground etching, mezzotint and chine colle and collage.

How has your artistic process and style evolved over the course of your career?

I came to my artistic practice by way of a fifteen year nursing career. When my daughter entered first grade I made the decision to pursue a BFA in art from Cornish College of the Arts. My intent was to focus on painting, but I fell in love with print! I am inspired by looking at many different kinds of art. I am motivated by the mundane items all around me. 

Where can audiences find more information about you and view your artwork?

My work can be viewed at and Instagram (@ellen.rutledge).

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