John David Ellis studied art during the 1950s at the Art Students League in New York City, continuing to live and to paint in New York until 1985.
He then moved to the state of Maine, first to a tiny fishing village and later to a larger town where he built a studio especially suited for his works, many of which are large in size. He now divides his year between the U.S.A. and Europe, where he continues his work in the Black Forest of Germany.
His paintings are completely abstract and have no easily identifiable subject content. Therefore, when asked by Moritz Egetmeyer to paint a series of cards on the subject “circus” quot, he declined, replying that no matter what theme he started with, it was bound to turn out abstract. He did, however, suggest a deck of cards consisting of completely abstract subjects, the meanings of which would then be supplied by each individual viewer. Egetmeyer thought this a worthwhile exploration and the results became what is now published as the ECCO cards.
The name ECCO, incidentally, was suggested by Ellis´ life companion, Joan Beauregard, who, like Ellis, has painted professionally for more than forty years.