Sunday, May 31, 2009

Banana Trees after Five More Days of Painting

I spent the next five days working on the leaves of the main tree. Banana leaves get shredded by the wind over time, and the tree I used for reference was in a very windy spot. I also added detail to the monkey's fur and the bananas hanging down from the tree. Does everyone know this is how bananas grow? The "blossom" is the red thing hanging at the bottom. Below is a watercolor painting I did that shows the baby bananas tucked between the layers of petals. Eventually, the petals fall off and the bananas grow up on the central stalk.

© Ellen Blonder

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beginning Banana Trees

This work in progress looked like this about a month ago. A blank 24 x 40 canvas had been sitting on my easel for over a year while I pondered what to do. After a recent trip to Kauai, I decided to fill it with banana trees. There are no wild monkeys on Kauai (this one's from my daughter's Thailand photos), but a friend thought there were when she heard a monkey-like screeching outside our window. It turned out to be a tree branch scraping against a gutter, but I had hoped to discover a creature like this instead.

Friday, May 29, 2009


© Ellen Blonder

My daughter Lisa inspired me to create this blog. (Check her own stuff out at

I'll add posts of current work in progress, but some background is in order:
This is what got me painting again after shoulder surgery three years ago. I needed to rehabilitate my arm, and Ganesha, remover of obstacles, seemed the perfect subject. It's inspired by a statue at the Hindu Monastery on Kauai. I hadn't touched my acrylics in years, preferring watercolors for much of my commercial work (see my website,, for samples). This piece is painted on canvas, and measures 20 x 20 inches.