"flowers in grey bowl" by Ellen Kelley McHale
“flowers in grey bowl” by Ellen Kelley McHale

I definitely am on a floral kick – having just completed “A Garden Party” last week – I finally put the finishing touches on two florals that I’ve been working on over the past month.  Sometimes a painting will sit there almost complete until I get it just right and call it done – the following two are no exception.

“Flowers in a Grey Bowl” 11×14  is a favorite of mine.  It is done in acrylics, oil stick and wax pastels on gesso board.  I had it framed in a white floater frame which makes it modern and sophisticated and able to sit in any space. My inspiration came from a little simple illustration of flowers that I had come across a while back. There was something about a few flowers drawn in a simple black vessel that stuck in my mind. I jotted down what I remembered in my sketchbook to save for inspiration at a later date.  This painting grew from that inspiration and while the arrangement is no longer simple, the negative space surrounding it keeps the overall piece simple, clean and elegant in my eye.


"poppies in blue jar" by Ellen Kelley McHale
“poppies in blue jar” by Ellen Kelley McHale

“Poppies in a Blue Jar” 22×28 on canvas is done in acrylics, oil stick, pastel and pencil – I love the way that the poppies jump out at you while everything else stays soft and recedes. My son’s friend told me they were psychedelic in that the flowers seemed to move the more he looked at them. I began this painting when Matthew Mead came to photograph me for a feature in Where Women Create magazine.  I had a few florals in various stages of completion and this was an idea I had at the early stage of the game.  I confess that this painting sat longer than usual because I had moved onto other things and decided to save this for another day.  I finished this a couple of weeks ago and it has become one of my favorite florals to date.  I’m happy that I waited to see where I really wanted to go with it.  I love the shadows on the pot and on the table and I love the casual way the flowers spill out of the pot.  If I was a florist, this is what I would be creating for you to bring home from my shop.


Poppies in Blue Jar: 22×28 floral still life; on stretched canvas (unframed) acrylics, oil stick, pastels, pencil

Flowers in Grey Bowl11×14 floral still life; on gesso board (framed) acrylics, oil stick, wax pastels

I hope you enjoyed them – there are more to come,



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Hi, this may be interesting you: new work - inspired abstract florals! This is the link: https://www.nelleykelley.com/blog/floral-still-life-paintings/