Ellen Starr Lyon

Momentary Release of Tension
oil on canvas
20 x 20 in.

Our lives are all so busy with what feels like constant motion. Through my portraits, I am collecting moments that show a beautiful, ordinary scene in a very intimate way. I explore two main themes. The first centers on capturing the intensity of the teenage years of my children, their strong emotions, gender issues and their use of technology. Having both a son and a daughter, I have a front row seat; I witness how they and their challenges differ per their personalities and genders. Often reactions fall right down stereotypical lines and other times I am surprised. Hand in hand with painting about my children is exploration of my own identity as a mother/wife/woman and how my roles are ever changing right long side. I paint modern “selfies”, use female models, and even portraits of my husband to create self-portraits of my experience. Where we are right now as a family can be challenging, fun, manic, loving, heart breaking but above all, it is full of emotion. Whether or not the viewer can interpret our story, my hope is that they are able to feel that depth of emotion poured into every brush stroke.

© Ellen Starr Lyon