Below are a variety of paintings and pencils reflecting Monte’s life-long growth and search regarding an individual, artistic style.  A perusal of the pieces of art show an obvious imitation of various styles of past, artistic masters.

In one local newspaper profile, Monte made it know one of his early favorite places to visit was the Parlin-Ingersoll Library in Canton, IL.  In this profile, he revealed he would go to this library to look at available volumes regarding art throughout the world.

Also, anyone who has dabbled in artistic means will admit part of the artistic growth process is to advance their skills by mimicking the styles of previous artistic masters and personal artist favorites.

In the below science fiction-like drawing of the swordsman, note the use of elaborate lines and angles.  This sort of style is commonly seen in science fiction drawings. While the origin of this drawing is not known, Monte was a fan of science fiction tales.

Note the unique shading style in the two below images.  Especially the shading in the illustration of the cabin in the winter pine setting.  Monte rarely used this form of shading in his other pencil drawings.

After Monte passed away, while sorting through his artwork, his son came across a pencil depiction of sexual debauchery during the medieval period.  It is mentioned because this particular piece also captures the style of imagery reproduction known for that period of time.  Because of the explicit nature of the drawing, it will not be reproduced here.  It’s existence is only mentioned because the style of the image clearly portrays Monte’s early adaptability when it came to learning by mimicking the styles of previous artistic masters.

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Mallards in Fall

March 20, 2010

Below is a Mallard painting by Monte. The interesting thing about this painting is to appreciate its quality, it needs to be seen in person.  Somehow, when looking at this painting, it is as if one is right there watching the Mallards in flight.  The blue sky background appears as if one is actually out-of-doors or looking directly out of a clear, glass window.  The appearance of the colors are so vibrant words can’t adequately describe the painting.

Another thing regarding Monte and his artistic creations was he created them from memory.  It is not to claim he did not refer to other resources regarding the proper proportions of animals or accuracy of nature.  But it is truthful that he did not create original works of art by copying resources placed before him.

Long ago in a profile in a local newspaper, Monte  explained his artistic process such as this.

In later posts additional images will be posted to show the power of Monte’s memory and artistic process.

This painting is in the possession of his son, Eric.


Earlier it was mentioned Monte would craft artwork involving a large Sycamore tree near a stream. These pieces would include a large, gaping hole in the center of the tree trunk, most likely included as an artistic juxtaposition.    Until now, it was not known if such an idyllic location and tree existed or not.

Fortunately for those left behind, through his life, Monte did keep periodic journals and notes about many nature topics.  In two entries in these journals he mentions such wonderful trees and their location.  One entry describes the below posted pastels and their existence in vivid detail.  Then, at the end of the first entry Monte writes how maybe this place exists or maybe it doesn’t.

In the second entry, Monte describes taking a guest along while telling him of a place where such a beautiful tree and stream do exist.  In the writing, the companion laments about how far the travel to see this site is taking and Monte describes telling him to enjoy what is amongst them and the location is not too far.

When the two do arrive to the place Monte said exists, his companion complains that the tree before them is just a Maple tree and not the one he described.  Monte’s written reply in the journal entry to the fellow traveler is, “But it could be.”

The first pastel is the finished product and the second is the rough draft.  An even rougher draft pencil drawing also exists. The finished pastel simply has to be seen in person to fully appreciate.

All three are in the possession of Monte’s son, Eric.


More Hummingbirds….

March 17, 2010

Below is a bronze-like casting of a Hummingbird arrangement by Monte.

While this is a blog primarily about the artwork, life and influences of Monte, a constant reminder must be made about the importance of his wife Sharyl and the influence she had upon both his life and ability practice his craft.

Without trying to sound pretentious or arrogant, the breadth of Monte’s talent and his body of artistic work illustrates he was an American, artistic master.  Artistic examples all ready posted and ones that will be posted later, will graphically show Monte’s artistic products ranged from pieces done in a classical style to that of the development of his own style.

Below is a photograph of Sharyl and her younger sister Susan after being “pinned” as LPNs.

Monte’s tremendous artistic talents were well-known to those that knew him.  On top of that, most likely his personality evolved in various ways from those offering generous platitudes when it came to his talent.   Yes, his talent was something that comes along rarely in life, but with this, Sharyl’s human relation talent was just as special.

Sadly, while Monte’s work left behind physical reminders of his special skills, Sharyl’s talents were pf the less tangible and often considered with less attention.

Sharyl passed away in 2007 and never recovered from the passing of her beloved daughter Kathy in 2005 from cancer at the age of 43.   While Sharyl was not shy in making her comments known and said just  about whatever she felt like saying, she also put her self last when it came to the needs of others. Shortly before her death, she was known to give away her most prized possessions to those who would cherish them.

In her later years, she obtained her RN license and eventually became a tremendously respected and loved hospice nurse. After her passing, countless letters and notes were found in her belongings from patient family members praising her skills, compassion and care. One great strength Sharyl developed when dealing with hospice patients was her complete honesty with them.  She was known for telling the brutal truth and showing these patients tremendous compassion.  She simply would not lie to her hospice patients about their health.  Think of it for a moment – hospice patients are in a hospice program to pass away without pain and with dignity.  Sharyl ensured this with her great empathy toward her patients.

These attributes are mentioned due to the irony of how in American life, so often two careers dealing with the tangible and intangible are viewed.  It is too often things not held in the hand or seen before one’s eyes are quickly forgotten.  To this day, Monte’s skills have a physical reminder, while Sharyl’s do not.  And it needs to be pointed out, just because Sharyl’s career possessed no remaining, tangible artifacts, it does not mean her quality of a skilled person was any less of that of Monte’s artwork.

Another interesting thing about Sharyl’s education was she did not finish high school.  Sharyl was a was a high school dropout and later obtained her GED and LPN and RN degrees.  On top of these amazing accomplishments, she had an uncanny knowledge of medications, health problems and care when it came to ill acquaintances.  Also, area people and family were known to seek her medical advice and care when falling ill.

Several Deer Paintings

March 13, 2010

Below is an obviously early painting of a deer by Monte.

Below are two later deer paintings by Monte.

The Many Faces of Monte

March 13, 2010

Monte was born at home on July 23, 1939, in Banner, Illinois to John and Zelma Ellis.  It has been claimed Monte passed away in the same bed he was born in, though this is not known for certain.  Monte’s last home did end up being just a few hundred feet from the home he was born in.

The above photograph is Monte’s senior year high school picture from 1957.

The origin of the above photograph is unknown.  Writing on the blackboard indicates Monte may have been making a presentation before some sort of art club.

The photograph above was taken of Monte approximately two years before his passing.  Along side of Monte is his dog, Buddy.

Below are photographs of two sculptures created by Monte at different periods in his life.  The sculpture of the Blue Jay was done much earlier than the pair of Pintail ducks.  The Blue Jay was completed around the early 1980’s.   Most of the Blue Jay is also one piece, while later, Monte started experimenting more and more with molds of parts of his sculptures.  He would then assemble the sculptures and then paint them.

In the Pintail sculpture, Monte crafted the body, wings and other parts in different methods.   He also created the simulated splashes of water.

Again, the contrast of the two pieces not only illustrates a growth in Monte’s talent, but also a change in his ability to create pieces of higher quality with improved forms of artistic media.

Monte and Hummingbirds

March 5, 2010

Below are photographs of hummingbird sculptures created by Monte.  In these sculptures, except for the pieces of decorative wood fragments and bases, Monte created all parts of the sculptures by hand.

Clicking on an image will enlarge the picture of the sculpture.

In the image below, he created the Trumpet Vine and blooms, the drops of dew, ladybug and even the oak leaf.

Below are two hummingbirds.  One perched and one in a nest.  Monte also created the nest.

Below is a hummingbird ensemble created by Monte.  Note the tiny drop of dew on one of the petals to the flower and the ladybug.