photograph portrait of artist Ellen Buselli
Studio Shot, Ellen Buselli

How Do You Find Inspiration?
Ellen Buselli: Painting from life offers an endless source of inspiration and challenges. Observations of light, shadow, color, values, edges, and atmosphere make each painting a new experience. There is magic in observing the natural world, making marks on a 2-D surface based on those observations, and creating the illusion of 3-Dimensions.
Inspiration also comes from objects I collect for my still life paintings. Chinese pottery and figurines, pueblo pottery, and distressed pots always catch my eye for new subject matter. Placing opposites in a composition create dynamic paintings: light and dark, matte and shine, large and small. I tend to pursue wabi-sabi flawed beauty and a sense of timelessness.

Painting flowers from life requires translating the qualities of opacity and translucence, sharp and lost edges, and intense and dull chroma.

Portraits requires the ability to create the look of turning surfaces with values and warm or cool colors, sharp or soft edges, and quality of paint.

Landscapes require the ability to edit quickly, and to understand how color works in light and in shadow, in the foreground and in the distance.

Painting from life is a constant learning experience and an endless source of inspiration, and is the ultimate challenge.

To see more of Ellen’s work, visit:

oil painting of still life objects, captured in north light studio
Ellen Buselli, Copper & Light, oil on linen, 12 x 16 in., 2022. Matte white and black objects with shiny copper create a dynamic study in surfaces.
oil painting of peonies from a market street in Manhattan
Ellen Buselli, Peony Season, oil on linen, 14 x 15 in., 2022. Stunning peonies from the 28th Street Flower Market in Manhattan.


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