Ely's landscapes are rooted in specific places and times, so much so that we forget that they communicate as much by ideogram as by actual representation. Small conical forms are trees, while the large rounded triangles are hills. Horizontal bands of white are clouds, while the source of light is indicated by the blockish "shadows" behind the lighter objects. In each case, the artist supplies only the information necessary to evoke a mood or suggest a topography. And this is the fundamental strength of her style: viewers can never escape some responsibility for the outcome. We are asked to complete the scene - to round out the emotional edges - from our personal reserves of memory and imagination.
Phyllis Bryce Ely earned her Bachelor of fine Arts degree with high honors from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has exhibited her paintings and pastels in invitational and one-man shows in Rochester, New York City and Nantucket. Her work is included in many public and private collections, such as Xerox Corporation, Rochester Community Savings Bank, Mobil Chemical Corporation, and Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company. She lives in Penfield, New York, with her husband and daughter.