The Barge

by Vic Ellis a Canvey Artist

Vic Ellis. Portrait by Harry Russell

Vic Ellis was a dental technician on Canvey Island and was given drawing and painting lessons by Harry Russell.

He become a successful commercial artist and a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists and painted many shipping fleets for their owners and operators. A typical high quality painting of his ‘Barge ‘is shown below, from a photo given to Harry Russell by Bunty, Vic’s wife, for Christmas 1984.

Vic lived out his final years in Leigh on Sea.

If you have any other information about Vic or any of his pictures please email in or comment below.


Comments about this page

  • Hi I have a Vic Ellis painting, he painted it for me. I lent him some photos of narrow boats and he painted for me it was of a pair of boats I used to know very well and the owner.

    By geoffrey fitch (28/10/2009)
  • Vic Ellis had a small studio near the bottom of Leigh Hill next to Oscars Restaurant. He was a very prolific painter and his oil paintings grace many private collections aound the world. He had a fine reputation amongt the cogniscenti, not so much for his draftmanship but for his fine sense of atmosphere: you could smell the sea in a Vic Ellis painting. Few since W L Wyllie have captured the Thames Estuary, it’s shipping, character and light, as well as Vic Ellis. It’s about time someone organised a retrospective exhibition and produced a book dedicated to his marine paintings. If we had an Art Gallery in Castle Point it would be a good project for them!

    By David Hurrell (09/12/2009)
  • Vic was my father’s cousin; his widow, Bunty, died in October 2009.

    By John Atkins (16/01/2010)
  • Hello – I have a picture in a frame “Thames sailing Barge “MAY” built Harwich 1891 by Vic Ellis.
    I do not know if it is a print – I have studied other Vic Ellis pictures but cannot find any information about this painting – can you help please – It was framed by CW Brown, Croydon.

    By Anne (17/01/2010)
  • I have in my care a double sided Vic Ellis painting – he was re-cycling earlier works I guess. The side framed for viewing as a scene of an estuary finely painted in greys and blues – water and sky colours – without a boat in sight. The reverse side has been left visible and is a strong painting of a ship in full sail on choppy waters, the oil paints having been applied with a palette knife. The contrast in the two styles and subject matter is most interesting. What versatility! The picture(s) measure 3 ft by 2 ft

    By bridget (14/07/2010)
  • Any chance you could photo the pictures and send them in?

    By Janet Penn (15/07/2010)
  • We were living in Bermuda in the 1970s and I spotted an ad. for 2 paintings of Thames Barges by Vic Ellis. As I was born in Gravesend I bought them and they have travelled the world with us. Now they are back in Kent and I decided to see what I could find out about the artist – so glad I did. No titles but I think one of them is the pool of London and the other a group of barges at the mouth of the river/open sea. RK

    By Rosemary Kinnear (28/07/2010)
  • I’ve an “impressionist” (almost) picture by Vic which shows the old footbridge at Benfleet Station ….. remember running through the smoke ….. the Leigh Building Supply wharf roughly where the bus stop is now and the old ferry. Photo available if anyone is interested. I seem to recall that my late father “commissioned” it about 1980.

    By Miall James (23/08/2010)
  • Photo please Miall. Send a copy into the Archive

    By Janet Penn (23/08/2010)
  • To Janet Penn: The double sided Vic Ellis is shown on Stacey’s Auctioneers and Valuers site. Sept. 6 auction catalogue.

    By bridget (01/09/2010)
  • I bought two pictures from Vic Ellis in the 1960’s. The larger one is of a rough sea with not a vessel or bird in sight. The smaller one is of a clipper ploughing it’s way to port.

    By Terry Linsdell (02/11/2010)
  • I have three of his paintings, all bought from Vic in 1978. One is much admired. It shows a Thames sailing barge in full sail, with a (Union Castle?) liner behind and a red buoy in the foreground. The sea changes colour according to the light falling out it – at times quite sombre, at others quite sparkling.

    By Dick Lawrie (14/03/2011)
  • my father was the late harry russell so often spoken of in art circles on canvey. i have numerous painting, drawing and sketches that he did over the years, many hanging on the walls in my home. my eldest son inherited his talent and did an amazing piece of work for his GCSE 10yrs ago, which depicted my father in a abstract work. i can remember him painting many scenes sat in front of his easle in our dinning room. my children are very proud of their grandfathers talent and have earmarked which oictures they wish to receive when i depart; some of my favourite pictures are his sketches of wartime missions. i will have to visit canvey soon as its been over 20yrs since last there.

    By Christine James nee Russell (25/05/2011)

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