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.


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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