Elise Ansel was born and raised in New York City. She currently lives in Portland, Maine. Ansel received a BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University in 1984. While at Brown, she studied art at both Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design. She worked briefly in the film industry before deciding to make painting her first order medium. She earned her MFA in Visual Art from Southern Methodist University in 1993. Ansel has exhibited her work throughout the United States and in Europe. Her works are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and the Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences. She is represented by Miles McEnery Galleryin New York City, Carol Corey Fine Art in Kent, Connecticut, Ellsworth Gallery in Santa Fe, and Cadogan Contemporary in London.