Ellen Sinel: Paintings

about the artist:   Artist's Statement

My paintings are of real or imagined places in which I seek to develop an atmosphere of quiet and peace. Nature, always changing, is simultaneously still. As I observe a scene, a juxtaposition of shape and color, a flower bending in the grass, a place where sky meets sea, I am struck with an instant response, a feeling. One instant later, everything observed changes. I want to capture the tension of these life-continuing changes, and to convey the feeling of an unseen presence, capturing a moment in time.

Exploring these concepts for many years, I created a series entitled “Empty Rooms” in which I formed a set of environments with a haunting quality. Each room seemed to emit the feeling of an unseen occupant.

Later, I worked on a large series involving an ancient Italian village. In this series, I continued exploring the theme of a quiet but changing, inviting, yet mysterious, atmosphere.

The issues addressed in these paintings seemed ripe for exploration in an open landscape. Landscape has been my focus for many years. I often lean toward painting in the format of diptychs and triptychs. Each painting can stand on its own, yet, related to another or more works, becomes a different image. It, as nature, changes.

I have worked on a series of paintings inspired by the Virginia countryside, and by Cape Cod, places where I spend much time.  Currently, I'm working on landscapes of coastlines, beaches, grasses, and trees. In such beauty and quiet, I am drawn from the inside out, both physically and visually. As light changes constantly, so do colors, shadows, senses, and feelings. These settings, pregnant with expectant mystery, inspire my thoughts and work.


Ellen W. Sinel