For the past 41 years, Ellen Håkensen Faris has lived in the United
States, primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area. She came from her
homeland of Norway to work as a Flight Attendant for Pan American
Airlines. When she met her husband, to whom she was married for 37
years, she settled down and started pursuing her creative talents and
getting an education in graphic design. She then founded her company
Design Plus, along with raising her son and daughter.
Ellen has long been involved in the Norwegian Community in the Bay Area
and was the Creative Director for the annual Norway Day Festival for
many years. While working with the festival, she created large canvases
of painted images displaying scenes of Norway to be used as backdrops.
She also created a replica of a children's village in Norway, made out
of Styrofoam. This installation now makes an annual appearance for the
enjoyment of all the children visiting the Festival.
Ellen's interest in photography, use of colors and working on the
computer got her started on creating digital art. After the loss of her
husband in 2006 and to help ease her heartache, Ellen started to paint
some of her digital art images and has now found a new passion. She is
employing the same technique as she did creating the backdrops, using
cotton canvases and high quality acrylic wall paint. She mixes the
colors herself to get the colors she wants and the images are derived
from her own photographs, transformed into graphic images on the
computer and then freehand drawn and painted onto a blank canvas.
Color is very much part of Ellen's work and she has always been drawn to
bright and vivid colors. Now that painting has become her main interest
instead of strictly using her creativity in her business as a designer
creating for others, she can freely express her love of the whole color
spectrum without restrictions.
Ellen spends several months in Norway every year in her condominium at
the edge of the Oslo Fjord. While there, she enjoys hiking in the
mountains as well as exploring the coastline in her kayak. Being at the
seaside, many of her paintings reflect the boating life of which she is
very much a part.
web site: www.designplusonline.com