Upon returning to the West, Ellis first moved to El Paso, Texas. He then traveled to Santa Fe, where he joined his friends Willard Nash, Jozef Bakos, Will Shuster, and Walter Mruk. Together they formed the Los Cinco Pintores, modernist-tending artists who had their first of several exhibitions in the Museum of Santa Fe in 1921. Ellis married and spent a period of time in Espanola, later settling about ten miles east of Santa Fe in one of the most beautiful haciendas in the area.
Ellis is known for his rich, colorful, impressionistic depictions of the New Mexico landscape.
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