ellen hanson

Acrylic, oil, contact paper and cardboard on canvas

72" x 54"


artist website


These paintings are a reflection of my surroundings: past, present and imagined. I start working the same way I used to start daydreaming on the drives from the suburbs of Chicago to northern Wisconsin. They begin like the landscape out the window: repeating houses, grey skies, freshwater lakes, pines and birches. Then diverge from my midwestern reality; adding bright coastal sunsets, vigorous tropical plants, large bay windows and classical marble walls. From here the painting tells a fictional narrative about place making and how a landscape changes. I’m interested in the power of our surroundings and the history of a place.

Continuing the still-life tradition of utilizing plants as a metaphor for human life, I use native foliage or houseplants to address death, intimacy and loneliness while simultaneously drawing attention to our use of surrogate natural landscapes within a metropolitan city. 

more by ellen hanson