"Nell's Flowers" number 50 of the 50:fifty project
“Nell’s Flowers” number 50 of the 50:fifty project

Drumroll please … number 50 of my 50:fifty project is a bouquet of flowers for me! I decided that I would end my 50 paintings with the kind of artwork that I’ve grown to love best – painting flowers and this time I’ve made them just for me.  I create most of my art right in my imagination with a reference image sometimes to help me sort out my subject. I’m inspired by everything and I paint what I’m feeling and what I’m experiencing at the time.  My paintings have become somewhat of a journal for me – a way to express what I’m seeing at the moment or how I’m living or who I’m with.  I love to read, cook, decorate and hunt for vintage treasure and each of these things feeds into where I’m at creatively.  This winter I felt trapped as so many of us New Englanders felt, so my outlet was painting flowers and surfers.  I figured that I could paint myself right into better weather.  In some ways, I did because I kept myself surrounded by the colors of warmer days.  As I moved through this project, I found out that I love to paint the beach and buckets of flowers.  Those are the subjects that I turned to again and again especially when I was hard-pressed for an idea to present itself.  Each of my 50:fifty paintings were a chance to try something different, to push myself and in doing so, I found new techniques that I absolutely can’t live without – at least for now.

Here is a little peek into my process:

mapping out my idea
mapping out my idea

I start with my idea and add a boat load of color to my canvas. I’m not sure where it is going but I have faith that it will get there in the end.

 

getting rid of the noise
getting rid of the noise

Once I’m happy with my subject I will begin to remove all the noise and color that I don’t want to see.  It helps me stay focused on my main subject and I love having layers of colors peek out here and there on my canvas.

 

defining what stays or goes
defining what stays or goes

I then begin to get a little bolder with my lines as I try to pull out things that I want to refine. This is usually the spot where I walk away and sleep on it.  The answer usually comes in the morning with fresh eyes and a little bit of distance.

 

refining my work
refining my work

Here is where it all comes together.  Flowers are added or deleted, my background or negative space pulls itself together and I start to add my shadows and refine  my artwork.

 

"Nell's Flowers" number 50 of the 50:fifty project
“Nell’s Flowers” number 50 of the 50:fifty project

Ta-da! The flowers are arranged with fresh water in the container and I can carefully place it on the table and celebrate my finished piece.

This is called “Nell’s Flowers” and this is number 50 of my 50:fifty project.  It is not the end only the end of this project.  It is really just the beginning of bigger and better things to come.  I hope you will keep following along with me.  Soon, I will pull together a compilation video of the 50 works and I hope to publish a little book about my journey to 50.

Nell’s Flowers: still life, floral; acrylics on canvas size 20 x 24

I’ve got exciting things in store for the future, it’s time to put this project to rest. Onward!

See you next week~

Ellen

6 thoughts on “Nell’s Flowers number 50 of my 50:fifty project

  1. Julie Hagan says:

    Ellen, congrats on your 50:fifty project! “Nell’s Flowers” is just beautiful, I love it! Can’t wait to see what project you start next.

  2. Valerie Thayer says:

    Ellen, congratulations on accomplishing your project! What an incredible body of work you have and I am sure you have learned so much during the process. I loved seeing the progress of this particular painting and think it is just beautiful. Onward!

  3. Ellen McHale says:

    Thanks my friend and fellow blogger – Val! I really appreciate your following along with me and taking the time to comment on my posts. Let’s see where it goes next. xo

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