December 23, 2007

"Light on the Lighthouse"
oil on canvas
9" x 12"

My recent trip to Vieques proved somewhat frustrating. An unusual weather pattern produced a post-season tropical storm and for days the wind and rain made painting outdoors difficult. Feeling thwarted, I wanted to throw in my paint rag for the duration.

Fortunately I have a persistent reminder (in the form of my husband) of what really matters to me. I guess because I get cranky when I don't paint, Roo encourages me to find a way even when I feel blocked. He is, among other things, an example of what I call a structure for accountability.

A structure for accountability is someone or something I've empowered to help me remember what really matters. When people starting making New Year's resolutions, I believe they're really looking for structures for accountability. Rather than expressing a willful demand that we improve ourselves, a structure for accountability expresses our willingness to nurture changes we desire.

I've come to view certain agreements I make with myself as structures for accountability. This blog is one such agreement -- I agree to maintain this blog on a more or less regular basis. The value of this to me is that it invites me to reflect on my artistic process and to show my recent work. Knowing you're reading this keeps me on track and, I hope, informs and entertains you.

Certain kinds of goals are also structures for accountability. For instance, Roo helped me acknowledge I really did want to produce paintings while I was in the Caribbean. So I set up my easel in the bedroom and painted looking out through the ventanas (Miami blinds) onto the palms and sea beyond. And when the sun finally shone, I hightailed it to the beach with my equipment and found the dazzling scene depicted here.

I ended up making 8 new paintings that week -- not bad for one suffering from thwarty circumstances! I took several to my Vieques gallery and received a call two days ago that 4 of my paintings sold in one morning.

Successful work habits don't grow on palms trees! They're the result of creating structures for accountability that work when you don't want to. If you want to learn more about how to get this sort of thing working for you, you might want to check out the workshop I'm offering on January 6 from 2-5 p.m. here in Norcross.

"Goal-Setting for Artists - Take Your Art to the Next Level" will give you ample opportunity to look at what will help you work in more fulfilling ways. (Maybe you don't think of yourself as an artist, but what is Life, after all, than a blank canvas awaiting your mark?) There's more info about this on my website: Let me know if you're interested.

In any case, Happy New Year to you! May what you create 2008 be truly great!

December 6, 2007

Autumn Glow #2
36" x 36"
oil on canvas


Holiday Trees at Sweetgrass Wellness Center

This afternoon I planted a whole forest of trees at the Sweetgrass Wellness Center (, 483 Moreland Ave. next to Sevananda in Little Five Points, Atlanta. I hope you'll get a chance to stop by in the next few weeks to see the series of Autumn Glow paintings. There are 3 large (36" x 36") and 3 small (12" x 12") paintings. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I really really really love those trees in the back of our home!

If you haven't been there yet, Sweetgrass Wellness Center is truly sweet!. Miriam Arensberg and her chiropractor husband, Dr. Tim Tschirhart, have created an enlivening and nurturing environment.
If you go to see the paintings, I'm sure you'll enjoy the warmth of this charming day spa (and might want to stay for a stress-reducing rub).

On Saturday I'm off to Vieques for ten days. It will be a time for making new Caribbean paintings as well as tending to the ones already in Siddhia Hutchinson's gallery there. I'll be missing (not!) Atlanta holiday traffic. I hope you'll stay sane and safe.
Love, Ellie
P.S. On January 6 I'll be offering Goal-Setting for Artists: Take Your Art to a New Level at the Kudzu Art Zone in Norcross. If you or anyone you know would like more info: Pre-registration is online at
P.P.S. View the entire Autumn Glow Series and the rest of the forest at Landscape 2 gallery.