Ellis Buckner and his brother, George, grew up in Gifford, Florida. George left school in the sixth grade to work after his father died. He was tall and handsome and an accomplished musician who could play the guitar, piano, and saxophone. Buckner met Harold Newton when he and Ellis were working in the orange groves and the two began painting. George was the more deliberate of the artists and did not like to go out on the road to sell. He is considered one of the best artists of the group.
Ellis Buckner, who began painting in the mid-1960s before George, died from complications of diabetes in 1986 at age fifty-eight. At one time, the two brothers operated a gallery in Coral Gables, Florida.