Ellen Starr Lyon

commited to creating art while being a full-time working mom

Artist Statement

Studio Choas

Studio Choas

Artist Statement

“I love how color, light, and pattern transform objects and the space they inhabit with such nuanced beauty. It is not the object that entices me but the spaces in between.”

I want to bring an intimate, mysterious power to still life using the subtle moments that exist in and between everyday objects. I want to create portraits of these objects that tell a story. That story can be between the viewer and the specific objects or a response to the vibrant light and color. I love bold color and the energy of pattern, negative space and light flowing over a surface. I make images I can return to, that are warm and embracing, with both subtlety and bold beauty. My current work is about the lushness of the commonplace; a sliver of light, a reflection in a surface, the sensual curve of a shadow. This beauty is available to all who know how to look at the world around them and really see it.

I employ both stretched canvases and canvas board. I generally start with a colored ground and sketch my composition in with vine charcoal. I build thin layers of paint to allow more light to penetrate the paint film and reflect back. In some areas I use moderately applied impasto in order to highlight a certain passage or lend weight to an object. I do not strictly adhere to the initial drawing but will make changes as I work to answer demands that the painting itself makes. I enjoy the beginning stages with its broad, free strokes but also the end when I can alternately define edges and soften others to create more depth. I have also added a few drawings to my exhibition. I find such beauty in a pencil line; a starkness and elegance so different from paintings. Without the use of color, I use the negative space to define the image and activate the objects presented.


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