Lifelong Love of Art

'Ellen's Art Show' opens at Melega Museum

By: Tara Rack-Amber, For the Herald-Standard

Cover photo:  Christine Pocratsky

November 14, 2008

BROWNSVILLE - Art has always played a major role in Ellen Daugherty's life. During her childhood,

Daugherty spent a lot of time drawing, and she even met her husband, Patrick Daugherty, through art.

Daugherty's life was once again enhanced recently by the presence of art with the opening of her very

first exhibition at the Frank L. Melega Art Museum, located at the Flatiron Building at 69 Market St.,

Brownsville, Pennsylvania.

"It has been an overwhelming experience," Ellen Daugherty said. "I have never done a one- person show

before. I enjoyed the process, and it has inspired me to do more."

Daugherty's exhibit titled "Ellen's Art Show" features a collection of paintings that depicts ordinary objects.

"An artist can paint from everyday objects and see them in a new way," said museum curator Patrick

Daugherty. "I think viewers will have a new appreciation for everyday things. It is her unique vision that

helps broaden the viewer's vision."

Ellen Daugherty often decides to paint objects that have a special meaning. For example, her piece titled

"Paris, Giverny, San Quentin, Versailles" is a painting of a pair of shoes. This particular pair of shoes was

worn on a trip, taken October 2007, to Paris to visit some friends. The name for the piece comes from all

the towns she visited in Paris while wearing those shoes.

The corresponding piece, "Paris, Giverny, San Quentin, Versailles, Too," is a painting of the shoes her

husband wore on their Paris trip.

At an early age, one of Ellen Daugherty's art instructors was impressed with her ability to draw objects

realistically. When she was 11 years old, Daugherty took art lessons from a well-known artist and instructor

named Lucille Banks.

"She would have me draw in charcoal and pastels a picture of her Persian cat, Mister Muffin," said Ellen

Daugherty. "She would say draw what you see and not what you know. She told me that she had taught a l

ot of people and that I have been the first to draw a cat that really looks like her cat. She saw a talent in me,

and that was very encouraging."

Ellen Daugherty also was impressed by one particular artist's work on a television show. Little did she know t

hen that she would have the opportunity to meet this person.

"When I was younger, I would watch the 'Paul Shannon Show,'" she said. "And they would show the art

work that people could send in. And they would always linger on a particular picture. I would think that it

was a really good drawing of Dick Tracy."

A few years later at the Art Institute in Pittsburgh, Ellen Daugherty met the young boy, now a young man,

who was the artist behind the Dick Tracy drawing, a man by the name of Patrick Daugherty.

"We were both in the commercial art program," she said. "We both used to pick out and draw the same

comics that came in the paper."

Thirty-seven years later, Patrick is right by her side, encouraging her to follow her passion in art.

"He has always been so encouraging, and that has encouraged me to do the show," said Ellen Daugherty.

"He is the biggest help in my life all around."

Since the opening of her exhibit, Ellen Daugherty has been receiving positive feedback.

"This one woman liked the painting of a dog," said Ellen Daugherty.

"And she said she doesn't even like dogs in real life. I like when the paintings evoke a feeling," she added.

Currently, Ellen Daugherty is working on a new piece that might be added to the exhibition. "I am working

on another handbag [painting]," she said. "It has the feeling of a handbag in Paris in the 1950s or 1960s."

"I heard someone say art is something that you not only like to do, but you have to do," said Ellen Daugherty.

"It is great when you see someone enjoy it. It is just the icing on the cake. When you put everything

together for the exhibit, it is really amazing."

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