La Fleur by Ellen Kelley McHale

It’s been forever since my last post but that doesn’t mean I have been idle.  I’ve been painting, thinking, creating, traveling and even doing some pretty cool interviews – one that just came out in Boston Voyager Magazine that you can read here and one that will be published in the next issue of the newly launched Where Women Create magazine on newsstands this Fall.  One of the new pieces that I just finished or “fine tuned” is a painting that I call, La Fleur.  It is a more minimal and abstract floral that is a suggestion of a flower in a vase with some color peeking through the deep indigo and carbon colored paint.  The lines on the vase reminded me of my days in Ophthalmology where I would administer an Amsler Grid to patients to monitor their central visual field to detect changes in the retina. This became a nugget of an idea for a different piece of work using grids and lines against a painted background.

“Lines” – my prototype

I began with my prototype piece and hung it on my inspiration wall to let the idea marinate for a bit.  My sister stopped by for lunch and popped into my studio and decided that she loved the piece – prototype or not – and promptly removed it from my wall to install on her wall.  I loved the nod to the Amsler Grid albeit a bit deconstructed – it was loose, graphic and fun and if my sister loved it hot off the presses then maybe I was on to something …


“Off the Grid” by Ellen Kelley McHale

So I set about creating a larger piece, keeping the overall feeling of a loose and unfinished vibe – perfectly imperfect.  I painted the background in a mix of indigo, paynes grey and prussian blue which together give off the appearance of black but really on closer inspection is all about deep inky blues.  This piece is called “Off the Grid” and is 18×24 framed in a minimalist white metal frame that I had in my ever-growing frame collection.


the side eye


A side view.  I love the wavy lines and the tactile quality to the work.  It looks cool just hanging out in my mudroom!


“Orange is the New Black” by Ellen Kelley McHale

I had a very cool orange metal frame sitting in my studio that I wanted to utilize so I decided to create another piece of grid art.  The background paint is mostly white, with washes of blues and pale pinks peeking through.  I was working with mostly black lines when my sister (my inspiration for this series I guess) called to tell me a hilarious story of her trials and tribulations of the day (only they weren’t so hilarious when she was in the middle of them).  She asked what I was working on as we were talking on the phone and suggested that I call the piece “Orange is the New Black” as a nod to our convo – so a strip of orange was immediately added to the piece as a finishing touch and we both called it a day.

I’ve got more to come … be on the lookout for the Fall issue of Where Women Create on newstands everywhere, you’ll find me in there.  In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer and if you are looking for a good read – don’t forget to check out my interview in Boston Voyager Magazine! Ellen

photo by the wonderful Matthew Mead




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