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Ellen Jean Diederich has been painting professionally since 1985. Working primarily as a watercolorist, she has expanded her painting into acrylics. Her passion for painting came long before her recognition as an award winning artist.


Growing up on a farm in Staples, Minnesota, she had excellent high school art teachers. She went on to MSUM where she graduated with a B.F.A. in Fine Art and a B.A. in Art Education. Part of her college years she developed strong drawing skills by drawing portraits at various businesses.


Living in Fargo, North Dakota, Ellen draws inspiration for her paintings from her farm experiences, hometown, and travels. She enjoys painting animals, flowers, and architecture. Many of her paintings of Fargo can be seen in buildings such as the Fargo Theatre, Bell State Bank Lobby, Sanford Medical Center and many private collections. Her work and card collection can be found on this site by clicking “A store Near You”. Many original pieces are available as giclée reproductions.


Ellen has a signature membership in the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, The Red River Watercolor Society, The Watercolor Society of Alabama and Watercolor West.


Prairie Public was so kind to have me on their show, Prairie Pulse, to discuss my latest children’s’ book, “Samson’s Gift”.  Click here to read more on the making of Samson’s Gift – Click Here

In addition to her painting, Ellen instructs watercolor workshops in many states including her own. Ellen frequently speaks on the creative process before service clubs, teacher groups, and career fair seminars. Her audiences find her presentations enlightening and entertaining.


Ellen also has written and illustrated two books and is now working on a third. The Ben Franklin Award winning Where’s Petunia? is a full-color hardcover children’s book. The playful story follows the adventure of two cats, Art and Petunia, featuring Ellen’s original watercolors. In her most recent book, Progressive Painting: Your Creative Journey, she shares insightful tips for successful painting. The book is designed to help artists at any level build their creative processes. Ellen’s third book, Samson’s Gift, will be released summer of 2014. Samson’s Gift is written for children as a Christmas story about the sheep who gives the baby Jesus his wool.


Ellen feels her paintings come alive through the comparisons she makes between colors, shapes, and spatial relationships. Her interest lies in the relationships between her subjects and the space they are in and how the shapes touch each other. She does not go for perfection–if she finds humor she tries to share that, otherwise, she prefers to show the beauty of these differences.


You can make an appointment to visit Ellen Jean Diederich’s Studio by calling 701-235-4241.

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