Ellis O'Connor graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee in 2016 with a Masters of Art & Humanities. She'd previously completed her degree in Fine Art in 2014. She's received numerous prestigious awards including the John Byrne Award, the Royal Scottish Academy Landscape Award, the Fleming Collection Selected Scottish Artist and the RSA John Kinross Florence Scholarship amongst.

 She grew up on the Outer Hebridean Island of Uist and lived there again for a period  after her studies. There she was immersed in the natural world, an experience that imbues her work. She  moved back to the mainland in 2021 and now works from a studio in Dundee. She seeks to capture the dynamic energy she observes in the ever changing landscape. In particular her work is a response to "the movement and rhythms of the sea and the land...the merging of sea with air, advancing rain and mist, ever changing light, elements that seem to be about something intangible".

O'Connor makes much of the artwork on site where extreme weather and the elements find their way into the pieces. She describes the process of working outdoors in wild weather as almost 'performative'. These works on paper often form the basis for larger works on canvas created back in the studio. She works in oil paint building up the surfaces using natural materials such as sand and dried seaweed connecting the viewer back to the landscape and the natural world.  

She featured in an episode of BBC2's 'Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing' in 2021 where she guided them to experiment with painting en plein air on the Isle of Uist. She exhibits widely around Scotland and  collaberates with many cultural oganisations to present talks and workshops on painting and drawing.