First Friday Santa Cruz



Ellen O'Hanlon

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Growing up in New York, my work is informed by early impressions of a city filled with diversity and juxtaposition. I found inspiration from the rubble of demolished buildings and the lone flower thriving amid the concrete. These images filled me with an appreciation for unorthodox beauty and contrast. Themes I continue to explore in my work today.

My process is physical, visceral, visual and kinesthetic. Using canvas, paint, metal, paper, hardware, plaster, metallics, wood filling and/or found objects. I find myself pushing the edges of the mediums, substrates and irregular surfaces. I love painting, scratching, scraping, and ripping to mar the surfaces. I explore constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing my work abandoning control or attachment to a "perfect outcome".

I paint from where from I dream"… As a professional hypnotherapist and healer the exploration of the unconscious mind and cultivating the ability to relax into "altered states" is a source of creativity for me, and a multisensory experience. This approach to painting, mark making, and creating inspires a spontaneity which develops into a multi-sense dialogue with my work often revealing images from the unconscious. The resulting pieces of art offer the viewer the chance to relax into the discovery of various images revealed within the paintings for themselves. While these discoveries may originally be uniquely theirs… perhaps they are part of a larger field? The field of our collective unconscious!

Through Experimental Abstract Expressionism I have found my authentic voice. I want my work to inspire others to create, to find their voice, and when they do ...scream!

Ellen has a private healing practice. Somatic Awareness, Art, Hypnotherapy, hands-on-healing and readings, are few of the modalities she offers.

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