Painting of the Week

Painting of the Week – Single Peony

Bigger Shapes have an Impact

Bigger Shapes have an Impact

This painting was created after Paul and I enjoyed a memorable road trip along the coast of California from Santa Barbara, to the Wine Country, to the Sequoia Forests. I first discovered the Single Peonies blooming on tall bushes in Monterey, California. The flowers, sparkling in the light, were probably 5” to 8” wide.

Currently, I am looking at different ways of developing the center of interest in my paintings. In this piece, the largest peony becomes the focal point simply because of its bigger size compared to the other flowers and bigger shapes have an impact. To develop that more, the colored shadows on the largest flower are more detailed enhancing its drama. In the background, there are many groupings of small shapes and textures – which are also repeated in the center of the flower. Their darker and contrasting repetitive patterns also push the flowers forward. The warm center of the main flower comes forward and the cool colors of the background go back.


It’s not to late to sign up for my workshops

The Art Materials store listed can still help you with supplies in time if you order by Saturday – Sooner is of course better!

Here is a quote about my online classes from one of my students:

“I enrolled in Ellen’s first remote learning course in beginning watercolor recently. It was an awesome experience! I enrolled late and despite not having my materials list completely in hand, I tried hard to benefit as much as possible from the remote experience. Ellen’s technical assistant was excellent. Ellen responded immediately to all my questions and critiqued my work that I routinely submitted online via her technical assistant. I highly recommend the experience! I would enroll again as a remote student and look forward to being an in person students in the near future.” -Bonnie Dean

You can paint along and review the video at your leisure!

2 Day Flower Painting ONLINE Workshop September 10-11 | 9:30- 4:00 with an hour for lunch – Learn how to build shapes with volume and bring out the unique qualities of the flowers you are painting.

Building Transparent Layers in Watercolor September 22-25 | 9:30- 4:00 with an hour for lunch – Learn the timing of working in layers of watercolor with a variety of subjects and how to enhance your colors.  Several new lessons that help you understand the paint better.


Curbside Pick up is now available on my Website:

To avoid delivery fees, you can now order online and select Curbside Pick Up. I would love to help you with an order!

Want to just stop by and see what I’m working on? No worry about crowds here at my studio -and I’m wear a mask when you stop by. Call for an appointment (701) 799-9505. (Please give a 15 minute notice)



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