Teaching for the Center Moriches School District reignited her creative spirit and in the summer months she again turned to photography and started to toy with painting, occasionally painting side by side with her mother. She found herself drawn back to the East End Arts Center and enlisted in painting classes. Most recently, she has studied under artist, educator and curator Kenneth Jackson and renowned artist Laura Stroh.
Over the years, Ellen has received numerous accolades and awards. In the early 1980s, she received 1st place in the Westhampton Beach Summer Art Show for photography, had a One-Woman Show at the East End Art Center and had her photographs published in the Southampton Press. She has received recognition and awards for her work which has been displayed at venues on the North Fork, in Bellport, Sachem, Southampton and in various East End shows.
Ms. Kingston also has a keen interest in travel. Taking advantage of the time off during each school vacation, over the course of many years, she was able to visit numerous countries around the globe. “I’ve been so fortunate to have traveled all over the world, learning about other cultures and visiting their schools. It truly opens your eyes to what is important.” Learning so much from her visits to various countries, Ellen has realized that, as she says, “there is no greater joy than to give without attachment.”
Ellen retired from teaching in June, 2020, which left her with a great desire to again, do something meaningful. “Teaching had been such a fulfilling career, where I know I made a real difference every day and impacted so many lives.” Wanting to continue to make a difference, Ellen found a way to incorporate what she loves to do, i.e. painting, photographing and creating works of art, while contributing to the greater good. Thus came about “Painting with a Purpose” where each work of art is sold with the proceeds going to charity.