Eleanor driver Post

Photo courtesy of tessamarie.com

Artist Bio

After graduating from Williams College with a degree in History and Studio Art, Eleanor moved to Florence and studied painting and drawing at the Istituto per l’Arte e il Restauro, Palazzo Spinelli. After then painting and teaching tennis in Scottsdale, AZ, Eleanor returned to her hometown of Atlanta. There, she began her portrait-painting career and continued creating her figure-based paintings. The latter were exhibited in two solo shows in Atlanta before she moved to New York City in 2001. In New York, Eleanor attended the New York Studio School and studied with renowned portraitist Aaron Shikler and with David Levine while continuing her portrait career.  Following a stint traveling through South Africa and Botswana, she returned to Atlanta. In Atlanta, she has continued to paint portraits, complete a variety of commissions, and exhibit her figurative work while starting a family. In 2006, Eleanor had a solo show at Spalding Nix Fine Art, and in 2007, she was included in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia’s show, “Movers and Shakers,” featuring accomplished young artists in Georgia. In 2010, she was also featured in that museum’s show “Beneath the Surface.” Spalding Nix Fine Art once again hosted a solo show of her work in August, 2016. She currently lives in Atlanta and has three young children.

Artist Statement

Depicting people in paintings is my way of bringing people together and exploring the different paths we all take and the common threads embedded in those journeys. Each person’s story emerges visually, whether in portraits or less-naturalistic paintings, and we recognize bits of ourselves and our own histories. The layers in my paintings represent the complexity of accumulated experience within us.  Seeing the layers within others allows us to empathize and connect more deeply with them.  In addition, I am very interested in the way portraiture can be used to elevate those that are generally forgotten and dismissed by our society.  One of my series of paintings was of day laborers waiting outside Home Depot.  I selected them as subjects because they are often seen only as a group, if noticed at all, and I hope that, by distinguishing them with individual portraits, viewers will be reminded that everyone, everywhere is a unique human being, worthy of respect and compassion.  A similar theme emerged in my series for a solo show of my portraits of refugee women and babies who live in Clarkston, GA.  Hosted by Spalding Nix Fine Art, this show brought to light mothers who are almost completely invisible to the general population because of their isolation and language and cultural barriers.  The challenge of giving birth to and raising a child in such circumstances, often with no family to assist them, is tremendous, and I hope to raise awareness of their individuality, inner and outer beauty, and tremendous strength and fortitude.  


Portrait Painting with Aaron Shikler and David Levine, New York, NY

New York Studio School, New York, NY
Painting and Drawing

Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta, GA
Figure Painting
1999-2001, 2004-2006

Istituto per l’Arte e il Restauro: Palazzo Spinelli, Florence, Italy
Drawing and Painting

Williams College, Williamstown, MA
BA in History and Studio Art
1993- 1997