Author: Jenny Shepherd

Q&A with Midnight to 6

Based in London, Midnight to 6 is a fusion of illustration, artwork and design inspired by travel, wildlife and culture from emerging artist Ellie Mountfort.

Best known for her botanical paintings, specialising in hand-painted artwork using watercolour and gouache from the beauty of nature captured across the world, these textures are brought to life in vivid colour. Each piece has a unique whimsical style to inspire a sense of imagination and appreciation for the ever-changing beauty of our planet. All artworks are produced as ethically as possible and designed in her botanical London studio.

Check out our exclusive Q&A with Ellie below!

 Q&A with Midnight to 6 | Image


AR: What was the driving force behind your choice to become an artist?

Originally, my artwork started out as a platform in which I wanted to be more sustainable, compared to the fashion design industry I had designed in for over 10 years. Over the past year, I began to shift my focus from womenswear design into art and illustration, and incorporated my own personal style into this new platform. I had become a part of the throw away fashion culture and I wanted to rebel against this and produce lasting artwork that can be appreciated. There is a great satisfaction in creating and interpreting a moment in colour that the viewer can be transported into and draw pleasure from. It can last a lifetime.

AR: Does your artwork have a message? 

The message behind my work is simply to showcase the incredible colour of the planet around us. The moments we miss that can be captured in a still painting and treasure the beauty we take for granted. Sustainability has always been at the heart of my work and I am constantly challenging myself to be as sustainable and ethical as possible.

AR: Do you keep tabs on art trends or are you all about doing your own thing?

I do follow current events, not just in art but in all aspects of life. I think it is natural for an artist to be affected by the environment around them. Take lockdown for example, which made me want to paint more than ever when I couldn’t travel. I wanted to capture everything I had seen previously that I never had a chance to paint. Although I follow other art trends I try to stay as true to my personal style as possible, to keep my work original, unique and enjoyable.


Q&A with Midnight to 6 | Image 

AR: What/who are your biggest influences? 

Travelling. It might sound like a total cliché but I never feel more inspired than when I’m exploring somewhere new. Plants, nature, architecture, colours and diverse cultures different to my normal routine free up my creativity to paint new experiences. I have always loved art and illustration from a young age. Artists such as Georgia O’Keefe, Julie Verhoeven and Gustav Klimt never fail to inspire me with their imagination, stark symbolism of nature, and use of vibrant colour.

AR: How has your life and experiences influenced your artwork?

Being in the fashion industry, I would collect vintage prints, recolour artworks, design womenswear garments, and travel to the most amazing countries. I have always loved the seventies era with beautiful bohemian dresses and the explosion of fun and colour across all art platforms. Although I had a career in fashion, I would often paint artworks for friends as a hobby, never imagining I could pursue it as a career. During the past year I started to document the artworks I would create for friends and their reaction was amazing! I started painting my favourite thing: plants. My house is full of them! I love the amazing colours in nature and once I started painting them, and the countries I have travelled to, I couldn’t stop. Now, I paint not just plants but bespoke commissions, such as human portraits, pet portraits, architecture and textile design among others!

AR: What did it feel like when you sold your first artwork?

Such a buzz! It was amazing to have my work appreciated by someone that didn’t know me and valued my skills. I still get excited when I get an order and it pushes me to keep trying new things and keep going!

AR: How have you developed your style?

I’ve always loved illustration, especially bohemian style, but it’s only recently I’ve started incorporating illustration into my own personal style. When I first started my art page, I would paint solo whimsical wildling animals. Now, I paint predominantly botanical landscapes which I absolutely love. I am happiest with a paintbrush in hand and my watercolours and gouache, painting the latest plant I’ve seen into my sketchbooks! I am diversifying all the time though, as really different bespoke orders come in. I love this as I get to learn and challenge myself with new subjects and styles.


Q&A with Midnight to 6 | Image


AR: Have you picked up any other skills in order to create your artwork that you weren’t expecting?

I have been experimenting with Copic pens lately, and I really love it for layering details on botanicals. I also love masking fluid (retro I know!) to be able to maximise my use of watercolour intensity without damaging the detail of my layered work.

AR: What’s your favourite piece in your portfolio and why?

This is a difficult question! My favourite artworks are the ones most naturally inspired, that you don’t even think about, you just paint. This was how I painted my Courtyard Corner from Abbot Kinney in Los Angeles. I wanted something bright and cheerful on my wall during Lockdown to lift my mood, so I reimagined the light hitting the leaves, the colours bouncing from the green leaves to the pink wall behind and the dimples of colour and sunshine it left on the surface of the leaf. I also love my ‘Mind Girl’ piece which is very symbolic to me. During Lockdown, many people struggled with anxiety and depression. Fears of how our life would change during and after this time. This piece is my personal reminder to look after my own mind garden and to remind myself that I have control over my own thoughts, no one else, and I choose to be positive.


AR: Describe your art style in three words.

Bohemian, whimsical, wanderlust.


AR: What is your workspace set up like? Are you in a studio/do you work alongside others/are you at a laptop or freehand?

I always prefer to work alone in a studio, where I can lose myself in my own imagination and paint freely without distraction, surrounded by imagery. During covid, this has sometimes meant my lounge table has turned into a mini studio setup! I often start by building a mood board filled with my own travel imagery, colour palettes, art styles, fashion and photography. From this mood board I usually paint a series of works. Throughout my whole design process, I work freehand. Sketching out my outlines before painting my pieces in watercolour and gouache. I only use a laptop for scanning in artworks to create digital prints.


Check out available works by Midnight to 6 here.


The Wild Swim from £120

Oli Mumby

Various sizes

Off You Pop by Louise Nordh
Off You Pop £95

Louise Nordh

35 x 35cm

Limited edition of 30

Inside Mickey's Heart from £150

Angel London

Various sizes

Navy Boy £175

Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 25

I Will Bite from £135

Mathilda Mai

Various sizes

Italian Summer by SODA
Italian Summer £125


42 x 29.7cm

Limited edition of 40

Let's Get It On £595

Linda Charles

56 x 76cm

Limited edition of 45

Wash the Blues Away by Charlie Haydn Taylor
Wash the Blues Away from £150

Charlie Haydn Taylor

Various sizes

Inhale £175

Joe Webb

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 30

Roarsome - Green by And Wot
Roarsome - Green £195

And Wot

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 2

Fresh £200

Hannah Adamaszek

60 x 75.5cm

Limited edition of 15

Destroy the Patriarchy Not the Planet (Mini) £400

Hannah Shillito

27.9 x 21cm

Limited edition of 20

Scratchin' Cats (Blue) £150

The Cameron Twins

33 x 36cm

Limited edition of 20

Fast Dog £95

Gavin Dobson

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 100

Pangolin - Framed by Lisa Lloyd
Ready To Hang
Pangolin - Framed £150 £130

Lisa Lloyd

44 x 44cm

Limited edition of 50

In The Sky With Stars £195

Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

70 x 100cm

Limited edition of 16

Meet Me in Matisse's Garden - Framed by Benjamin Thomas Taylor
Ready To Hang
Meet Me in Matisse's Garden - Framed £275 £255

Benjamin Thomas Taylor

56 x 76cm

Limited edition of 25

Gamebuoy by Nick Chaffe
Gamebuoy £100

Nick Chaffe

29.7 x 42cm

Limited edition of 50

Seascape W £300

Newton Blades

50 x 30cm

Limited edition of 100

Space Cadet - Magma by RYCA
Space Cadet - Magma £180


13 x 26cm

Limited edition of 12

Attitude - Framed by Sara Pope
Ready To Hang
Attitude - Framed £110

Sara Pope

33.5 x 33.5cm

Limited edition of 100

Ley Lines £450

Maxine Gregson

100 x 50cm

Limited edition of 250

'Amazing' Shell - Framed by Charlie Evaristo-Boyce
Ready To Hang
'Amazing' Shell - Framed £125 £113

Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

54 x 20cm

Limited edition of 50

What's That Then by Nick Chaffe
Ready To Hang
What's That Then £400

Nick Chaffe

27.8 x 54.8cm

Limited edition of 5

Les Oiseaux - Artist Proof £295


42 x 29.7cm

Limited edition of 50

See You Later Alligator! £550

The Cameron Twins

51 x 72cm

Limited edition of 10

The Olive Branch (Azzuro) £2,500

Magnus Gjoen

95 x 120cm

Limited edition of 3

Down The Rabbit Hole... by Mark Petty
Ready To Hang
Down The Rabbit Hole... £295

Mark Petty

27 x 37cm

Limited edition of 50

AZUL Mini £125

Florence Blanchard

40 x 40cm

Limited edition of 25

Blue Sway £170

Angus Vasili

59.4 x 84.1cm

Limited edition of 8