© Copyright Ellen Mulcrone

returning to simplicity


I have been dashing in and out of the crispy cold garden to photograph and make sketches, then returning to the warm and cosy cottage I am staying in to develop ideas.


This afternoon I needed a shake up. I discovered that the greenhouse within the garden, although cold, has a woodburner in it, so I have gathered some logs, my laptop and a notebook and set up camp there for the afternoon. 


I can't close the door to the greenhouse as it's a flight path for wasps collecting sweet nectars from the fermenting grapes inside. I discovered this by attempting to close it and soon being met with a frenzy of confused wasps banging in to the glass and becoming ever more agitated. Trapped inside a greenhouse with drunk, angry wasps is not where you want to be.. So fire roaring, door open... just about warm.

The place has closed for the season now so I am on my own here. It feels like I have entered a secret garden.



Having spent a morning focusing on creating artwork with multiple layers, a collage of colours and mediums, I find myself now drawn to simplification. To observe something and distill it to its elementary form, to one's own true understanding of the interpretation of the subject. I spent some time this afternoon warming in the greenhouse, immersed in the Walled Garden and researching artists that adopt a simplistic style of mark-making, be it in line, texture or colour. I love the work of Alexandria Coe. Working predominantly with a stick of charcoal and pad of paper, Alexandria reduces the human, often feminine, form to the simplest of lines, that seem to speak much louder than a detailed observational drawing.


Nude - by Alexandria Coe 


Reminded of this style of work at this stage in my residency has inspired me to explore simple line, to  attempt to capture the essence of the subject.


I am beginning to witness this diverse, meandering wave between different methods of immersion as, in fact, a constant in my life. It is very rare, ironically, that I feel balanced when persisting with one type of 'steady' art form or method of mark-making, and in actual fact the diversity in creation is what seems to generate an internal harmony. Something not to correct, but to embrace and develop.

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Ellen Mulcrone
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