Ellen Starr Lyon

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



The 2016 Bloomington Open Studios Tour is over and I have so many to thank for a great weekend! A huge shout out goes to all my visitors and supporters. My parents came for a second year in a row to help me ready for the event (including providing the snacks), my husband and son got out of “Dodge” to create space, my friend Ceci covered the dog-watching and my daughter stuck around to clean and greet guests.The threat of thunderstorms made for a slow start but the visitors came in a steady stream afterwards.

In the days leading up and directly afterwards, I had 100+ visitors and sold work to new and experienced art collectors. Many took advantage of my once-a-year sale on “littles”, the 4″ x 4″ oil on canvas works created solely for this event. It is my way to insure than anyone that has the desire, can own an original piece of art. Buying from a local artist is the best way to start your collection and to support your local creative community. Who wants to live in a place where there’s no art being made? If making it is not your thing, you can still be an important part of the process. See below, shining examples of community art supporters! If you’ve ever bought a painting from me and don’t mind sharing a photo of you with your painting, please send me a copy at ellenstarrlyon@gmail.com. I will be creating a scrapbook on my blog to track the happy homes that my “children” have gone to. Many thanks in advance!!

For recent images of what’s happening in my studio, follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ellenstarrlyonfromthestudio and on Instagram @ellenstarrlyon or contact me for a private studio tour.



Wed Nite Art Show with Saffron at Pygmalion’s Art Supplies


The title refers to annual event at Pygmalion’s Art Supplies in Bloomington. Here is a description of the event from their website:

Announcing our Wednesday Night Art Show: Wednesday, April 20, from 5:00-9:00, right here at Pygmalion’s! Each year we invite everyone to buy a tube of our Custom Color, use it in a work of art, and enter the work in our one night art show and party. We hang the work all around the store, and offer a delicious buffet of gourmet food prepared by Pygmalion’s owner John Wilson.

For photos from last year’s Custom Color Art Show and Party, please visit our Cat’s Tail page and scroll to the bottom of the page.

This year’s deadline for submitting artwork with Saffron is Monday, April 18 at 6:00. At least $600 in prizes will be awarded by juror Heidi Gealt, Director Emeritus of the IU Art Museum.

Whether or not you have submitted work, we hope you will come see the show, and enjoy some delicious food, on Wednesday, April 20th!

I try to always buy the special color especially because all proceeds from the sales benefit a charity; this year it is Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County. I’m not sure if the painting I started (above) will be what I enter but I do like to show process shots. These photos show the roughing in of a composition over another painting. Who doesn’t want to see a drawing over a gravity defying bowl of fruit? This painting is inspired by two USA ceramic pieces I was given by my mom on Easter. Thanks, ma! Check back to see the evolution of this work or to see if I choose another to highlight this years’ color.

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Still Life Show @ The Evelyn E. Jorgenson Gallery in Missouri

The Evelyn E. Jorgenson Gallery presents

Still Lifes: Perceptions of Inanimate Objects

October 1- November 12, 2015

An international curated exhibition exploring the still life theme. Including works from: Laura Aish, Pamela Delaura, Joseph Holsapple, Steven Hughes, Christina Kerns, Ellen Starr Lyon, Sarah Malakoff, Katrina Majkut, Ann Mansolino, Matthew McLaughlin, Emily Newman, Chee Wang Ng, Melodie Provenzano, Susan Sidebottom, Robert Thurlow, Susan P. Tolbert, Randall Tosh, Radek Vizina, and Tom Wagner.

Evelyn E. Jorgenson Gallery

Moberly Area Community College

October 1 -November 12, 2015

Opening Reception October 8th 5-7 pm

These three paintings of mine were accepted into the show- enjoy!
Robot I 300DPI



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Sunny Succulent


Here is a sneak peek at what you’ll see when you come visit me at my home and studio. Please visit the BOST to plan you weekend and remember to bring your friends!

“Welcome to Bloomington Open Studios Tour 2015! My home and studio at 3629 S. Bainbridge Drive in the Sherwood Oaks neighborhood, will be open to inquiring minds, curious neighbors and art lovers alike. Please come to the front door through the front court yard and roam around. All ages are invited to have a snack, look at finished work and see a work-in-progress on the easel in my studio. I will be on hand both days to answer questions about my process. While you wait for June to come, check out my website https://ellenstarrlyon.wordpress.com/ for insight into my world and how I see it.”

2015 4th Annual Bloomington Open Studios Tour

 Saturday, June 6, FROM 10AM – 6PM

Sunday, June 7, FROM 10AM – 4PM

Be Inspired


In my studio

In my studio

Ellen Starr Lyon


ellenstarrlyon.wordpress.com     (812)631-9711

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Stay Tuned for More Leaves.

I find myself drawn to depicting plants. As I worked on this portrait of my begonia I tried to distill the reason why. It’s not news or unusual that I love to garden. I love the new foliage, the bright juicy colors, the delicate flowers. I love the feel of dirt and enter a happy trance while I weed. I value having something living in my space, especially through the dark cold months. For these reasons and a hundred more, planting and tending are a part of me. That, however, is not why I paint them so often. It is always the same three things that drive my work: abstraction, light, and negative space. I do use objects that I have an affinity for but only as tools to create fascinating (to me) passages, niches, nooks and transparencies. The end product is a naturalistic portrayal but that really is secondary or tertiary to me. Perhaps in the future I’ll allow that to fall away and paint what I love without the context. For right now, stay tuned for more leaves.IMAG5657IMAG5824IMAG5661IMAG5672

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Bloomington Open Studios Tour 2015


I have been accepted to participate in the 2015 Bloomington Open Studios Tour. Visit our website, new artistis will be added in the next few weeks. http://www.bloomingtonopenstudiostour.com I am excited to be part of this group and to open my work space to visitors. I thought I’d share a few photos of my preparations. My goal is to have a variety of pieces of art available for purchase, to have these works hung in my home so that people can more easily imagine their homes with original art (nothing beats it- make it a part of your life!), and to clear space in my studio so that everyone may come in and see the environment I create in. However, it won’t be “too” cleaned up. The items accumulated such as: the piles of ceramics and textiles, the postcards, jars, photographs, books and other randomness all contribute to that creative drive. Come get a sense of how I see the world, how I revel in the abstraction found in the beauty and texture of simple objects.

I also want to have something in progress on my easel to illustrate (pun intended) the layers and stages of my paintings. Above and right is a recent example which may or may not come to fruition. There is dissonance and change in art; something I seek. However, with this new project that change came in the four-legged furry variety named Betsy. She is adorable but unfortunately is very curious about my still lives and will weave through them. I’m not so inflexible that I can’t deal with items being nudged or even knocked over but in this case she brought the whole thing down, complete with breakage. My friend Stefanie just happened to get a shot of me working before the mishap. The verdict is out whether I’ll reglue and reset this project or ditch it and start over. You’ll have to visit my studio in June to find out! Come by, have a snack and ask lots of questions about my technique, my training or anything else you’re dying to know. Added bonus, “art lover/wrecker” Betsy will be on hand to say hello


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Happy New Year! Happy New Painting!

birthday card from Art

"birthday card from Art"

Something new for once. This is a small token of affection for our friends Gene and Lisa. (sorry guys for the spoiler but this poor photograph will make the real thing look even better!) It was painted during the crush of Christmas and should have been done in time to mail weeks ago! I am now back from holiday break, back at my full-time job and in the midst of creative anxiety. I registered for a booth at a local-artists only art fair in Bloomington, IN sponsored by Bloom magazine on Feb. 25th. This done in the name of furthering my commitment and bringing my work out of my studio. Talk about vulnerability! I also don’t want to show up with things that have been shown before or with just a few items. So…..I’ve got work to do ladies and gentlemen. Wish me inspiration, time and fleet of brush. I did start another something new last night surrounding by dog, kitten and fighting children. It’s fun to compose while my 7 year old is crying and explaining to my 9 year old for the 5th time why he can’t play “just one more” video game. Just another day in the life.