Monte J Ellis was born in Banner, IL on July 23, 1939 to John and Zelma Ellis.  Monte passed away on June 3, 2009.  Monte was the oldest of six sons and lived almost all of his life in Central Illinois.  Monte was an accomplished wildlife artist and proficient in many art mediums.

Monte graduated from Canton High School in 1957.   Monte had very little formal training in art and during his lifetime only attended a few college level art classes.   Through a profile in a local newspaper article, Monte revealed much of his art education came from spending many hours at the local public library and checking out texts on art.

He married Sharyl D. Strode on June 3, 1961 and the two of them had two children, Kathy Angela Ellis, March 8, 1962, and  Eric La Mont Ellis, September 14, 1964.  Their daughter Kathy passed away on December 21st, 2005 and Monte’s wife Sharyl passed away on June 11, 2007.

Over the years, Monte’s artwork has been on display at Graham Hospital and the Canton Daily Ledger, both located in Canton, IL.  Two of his oil paintings are in the permanent collection of Lakeview Museum in Peoria, IL.  Monte also entered the Federal Duck Stamp Contest on numerous occasions, but was never selected.   Monte was the recipient of several local art guild awards and during the 1970’s and early 1980’s was selected by the Fulton County Arts Council of Illinois to exhibit works of art at Spoon River College in Canton, IL.

Monte was also represented by Nature House out of Griggsville, IL, during the 1970’s and early 1980’s.

During the later years of his life, Monte focused on three-dimensional works of art such as wildflowers and hummingbirds, hoping to create a process for the reproduction of his pieces.

From 1965 until late spring of 1975, Monte was the site manager of a large, private duck hunting complex located in the Illinois River bottoms.  This, along with Monte spending a great deal of time in the out doors, allowed Monte to have a long-term, up-close opportunity to observe and study the wildlife he was so fond of.

In 1974, Monte and three other men made a lengthy trip by canoe to the Arctic Circle in 1974.   This trip and later canoe trips to Canada were obvious influences on later works of art.


28 Responses to “Biography”

  1. Pepi said

    I posses one of he’s oil painting from around 1979
    purchased at Seyviet store in Kitchener, Ontario Canada
    Best Regards

    • monteellis said


      Thank you for your comment.

      Would you describe the painting? Monte was not consistent with where many of his oil paintings went.

      Thank you again for stopping by.

  2. jewellie said

    I have a pastel/chalk ballerina named La Valse, signed Monte. The signature of the artist is very similar to the signatures on Monte Ellis’ paintings/drawings. Could this ballerina be one of his? I can send you a pic if you’d like. bought it in oakville, ontario Canada

  3. Cori said

    I also have two ballerinas signed Monte. Could I also send a picture?



  4. austin said

    I also have 4 colored pencil drawings of ballerina’s. I am wondering if he indeed is the artist. can you please write me back so that I may post a picture to you, thankyou!

  5. rika said

    hi i also have paintings – giselle and la valse they are marked in the bottom left corner circelled c E.G.Co does this mean they prints

  6. beautiful paintings and a beautiful life

  7. Brandon said

    We have a Red Shoes by Monte. It’s a Publication of New York. What is it worth?

  8. celeste said

    i have a painting called m-6 enchanted princess by monte publication of e co g new york. is this painting done by this particular monte, if so what can u tell me about it, thanks.

  9. vickie said

    i have 3 painting of a ballerina girl on each one and in the corner it look like it was signed in pencil just monte the young lady has on a white short dress and gold slippers i was wondering is thepicture of any value.

  10. Anonymous said

    I believe I do have a original la valse by Monte. Back of pink frame has pencil number 1278 I.R. CONTACT me at (707) 294-4934 my name is Kat. Thanks

  11. Jeannie Valentine said

    I have a beautiful Ballerina in Pink with 1278 I.R. on the back. Mine is a copy but I also have Giselle in Blue and it has 1278 I.R. on the back also and is also a print.

  12. I have an original painting of a duck landing. It’s a mallard duck and in the bottom right corner it has Ellis.

  13. Leana said

    I have ballerina framed picture by Monte artist with pink dress and pink shoes and crown on ballerina’s head and I think that is an original picture as I saw the copy of the same picture9as his favourite picture’s on the Please respond on my message in order that I can email you the picture if you would like to view it.

  14. Leana said

    Could you please respond on my email sent to you on May 8 regarding my beautiful picture regarding beautiful ballerina in pink dress?
    It will be very nice from you.
    Kindest regards

  15. Joe V. said

    I have a painting called” dancing for mother” it has Monte, as the artist but I’m not sure. Is anyone you familiar with this work?
    Please forward your comments to: cobrajohn7@ yahoo .com
    Thank you.

  16. Max said

    Hello! I’ve come in possession of an large oil on canvas of several waterfowl (signed Monte), and was hoping to confirm the painter behind the work. If I send an image or two, can you confirm if Monte was behind it?

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