Ellen Babcock

January 9 – March 23, 2023

Like many East Coasters of her generation, Ellen Babcock drifted to the New Mexico desert in the 1980s with a hazy quest to seek spiritual meaning and solace, specifically to escape some of the constrictions of an Irish Catholic upbringing and to glean answers from an expansive landscape. 

She began making the paintings in Tasseomania always starting with a loosely controlled gesture with watery paint, an event that births colors, shapes, and paper undulations that then become the context for coaxing out a pencil drawing that is often visible only upon close inspection. These pencil drawings are usually figurative in some way- eyes or hands, very tentatively and lightly drawn. She often thinks about pareidolia- the tendency to see faces in abstract form- as an example of the mind’s inclination to identify with its own individual thoughts rather than more expansively with shared states of simply being. 

Ellen Babcock ’79 is an artist, educator, and the founder of Friends of the Orphan Signs. Based in Albuquerque, NM, she draws inspiration from landscapes and from a panoply of materials, often scavenged or re-used. Artist website