"ocean dreams" by Ellen Kelley McHale
“ocean dreams” by Ellen Kelley McHale

Last weekend we went off to our favorite place by the ocean and it got me thinking all kinds of thoughts on making art. When I got back from the weekend, I decided to loosen up even more than usual and just play at abstract thinking and mark making.  (Believe me, it’s harder than you think – my brain always wants to make something concrete out of every line and splotch).


"sunny disposition" by Ellen Kelley McHale
“sunny disposition” by Ellen Kelley McHale

I let each smear of paint just happen and things came into being on their own with a little help from some inspiring tunes (thanks to Brendan for sending me new artists to listen to). It was great to not have an agenda and to just let the moment take it away.  You do have to remind yourself that nothing is a mistake, that everything has purpose and if all else fails just paint right over it and begin again.


a good soldier never looks back
a good soldier never looks back


My mom had a saying to us girls when we were younger … “a good soldier never looks back”.  She meant to stop us from fretting over how we looked when we were walking out the door to go off to school.  It is kind of like “whats done is done” except her saying is funnier and I use it all the time.  In this case, I thought I would show you what the back of my paintings look like when they are signed, stamped and covered in splotches.  In this case – I did look back.


“ocean dreams”: abstract seascape acrylic, pencil on cold press 140 lb. watercolor paper, framed, 10×10

“sunny disposition”: abstract floral, still life acrylic, pencil on cold press 140 lb.  watercolor paper, framed 10×10

see you soon,


One thought on “Abstract thinking and works on paper …

  1. Pingback: Evolution of a painting ... ~ Nelley Kelley Designs

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