CREATIVE ENTERPRISE Ellen Lefrak at work in her studio in Dooncastle, Westport.
Tones of character
Like the music of the jazz artists she paints, her work is full of bold, confidently asserted tones that could clash, but somehow don’t. And, like the music, her paintings pulse with movement, life and character.
Born into a Jewish family in Yonkers, New York, Ellen Lefrak has been coming to Ireland every year since the 1980s. She now splits her time between Jerusalem and her studio in Dooncastle, Westport – a converted cow shed, complete with pot-belly stove. Her New York twang is strong. Jewish mannerisms and turns of phrase gently accent her speech and body language.
“Growing up in Yonkers was good. It’s a fairly big place, but because it’s so close to New York City, it never really developed. I would be out on the street playing