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


My Space- My Studio

In my studio

In my studio

My space- my studio……well that is the idea but not the reality. This space tends to be a high traffic area at times. Let’s see: one painter(me), one husband, two kids, one brother, cousins, one dog, three cats, neighborhood kids- you get the idea. In fact, my daughter (who should be in bed) just interrupted that last sentence. But, she’s also the one who caught me on “film” with paintbrush in hand and behind my shoulder is a portrait I painted of her; Odessa my almost 8 year-old beauty. Back to the reality of my studio. My husband is also an artist, he gets to color comic books for a living! We have always shared a studio space and after 12+ years of marriage would have it no other way. Sometimes we chat or not but we seem to be able to compromise on the music played and are content to create and to just be in the same room. It tends to be pretty homey. On the floor there’s half of an apple core that my son gave to the dog, beautiful rugs (covered in said dog hair) and a futon in the corner for the above mentioned brother. With all that, it is a place for art. Nothing gets put away when I’m done. The still life set ups stay set up, paint tubes live out in the open and paintings in progress stay out to be ogled until they’re up again for the next round. Batter up!