ella nilsson

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She Ajar

Up next in the 3×9 mini-series, “She Ajar.”  This woman is peering from behind a door, and her eyes are showing the viewer something.  Is it fear?  Is it relief?  Is it for you to decide?  Methinks it is the… Continue Reading →

New series – the 3″ by 9″s

I was looking to start a new series and was inspired by comic books.  The concept was to work with wood panels to represent a single pane in a comic book page; my goal was to tell only a moment… Continue Reading →

Day Thirty-One – The Grand Finale!

Often, the toughest part of a mini-series is ending it.  I chose the wisdom of Obi-wan, who said, “In my experience, there’s no such thing as luck.”  This is also why I entitled this one as “Buzzkill;”  way to take… Continue Reading →

Day Thirty – Red Bats

The red bat is considered lucky in China.  Often these animals are painted together in groups of five; this is to represent the five blessings in life: health, longevity, love, wealth and virtue.  Also, the red bat has been immortalized… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Nine – The Year of Me!

Day twenty-nine corresponds with the Chinese New Year, ushering in the Year of the Rooster.  Additionally, roosters are often associated with good fortune and prosperity.  In Europe, it was believed that the roosters would scare off the evil every morning… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Eight – Fingers Crossed

It couldn’t be lucky series without a little superstition.  “Fingers crossed,” is the expression I use most to wish someone good luck, especially via text.  Now even easier with the latest emoji update!

Day Twenty-Seven – Break a Leg!

This is one of the weirder “good luck” expressions, as generally speaking, breaking any bone isn’t so lucky.  In my super limited research, this notion comes from the expression “lucky break,” meaning not a literal break, but more like an awesome… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Six – Laughing Buddha

The Laughing Buddha is called Hotei in Chinese.  He is considered a symbol of good luck and was based on an actual Chinese monk, Ch’an, who lived over a thousand years ago.  Usually placed facing a door, it is said… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Five – Lucky…bird poop

Have you ever heard that it is lucky if it rains on someone’s wedding day? I think this notion of lucky bird poop is similar; it’s about trying to make a negative into a positive.  Sure a good attitude can go… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Four – Shooting Star!

The funny bit about shooting stars or falling stars is that they are not actually stars at all.  They are actually meteoroids falling into Earth’s atmosphere and burning up.  The trail of light is called a meteor, and if any… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Three – The luck of the keys

And no, I’m not talking about Florida.  I learned a lot about different lucky charms while working on this mini-series.  Prior to this, I had no idea keys were considered lucky, but given their symbolism , it certainly makes sense…. Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-Two – Figa Charm

The Figa Charm is a good luck symbol, and it originates from ancient Greece.  In present-day, it is still considered lucky in Portugal and Brazil.  However, in other countries such as France and Turkey, it is seen as an obscene gesture…. Continue Reading →

Day Twenty-One – Lucky Lady Bug

This Day 21 – lucky lady bug seems to time perfectly with the events of January 21st.  On this day, I had the pleasure of attending the women’s march in Austin.  Regardless of your political affiliation, I think we can… Continue Reading →

Day Twenty – Owl in Leprechaun’s clothing

My father is from Iran.  Owls are considered bad luck there, or the sign of a bad omen.  I think owls are pretty cool, so this one dressed up as a Leprechaun to get into the Buena Suerte series.

Day Nineteen – Hamsa Hand

Today’s drawing is of the Hamsa Hand, which is considered a good luck charm in both the Islamic and Jewish faiths.  It is a protective sign, bringing its owner happiness, health, and good fortune.  It is also said to provide… Continue Reading →

Day 18 – A Kiss for Luck!

As an avid Star Wars fan, I had to make sure this image snuck in the Buena Suerte Series.  In this scene, Luke has just freed Princess Leia from her cell, and they are trying to escape the Death Star…. Continue Reading →

Day Seventeen – Dala Horse

The Dala horse has been considered lucky in Sweden since the 1700s and originated in the Dalarna province.  The style of each horse denoted what region you were from, and all are seen as a symbol of good luck in… Continue Reading →

Day Sixteen – Lucky Cricket

Crickets have been considered good luck as far back as 500 BCE, being a symbol of prosperity, vitality and good fortune.  This punny cricket happens to be playing cricket, with some wise words for us all.

Day Fifteen – Eyelash Wishes

Blowing a fallen eyelash off of your finger has been considered good luck since around the mid 19th century.  Much like birthday candles, you make a wish and then blow the eyelash off of your finger.  The curious bit is… Continue Reading →

Day Fourteen – Lucky Penny

“Find a penny, pick it up.  All day long you’ll have good luck!” Not all good luck charms have their own little rhyme, so I suppose the penny is extra lucky.  That, and my sister loves Abraham Lincoln.  From what I… Continue Reading →

Day Thirteen – Black Cat

When I started this series, my Irish stepmother was quick to point out that black cats are considered lucky in Ireland.  When I was plotting out what I would draw for each day, Friday the 13th seemed like the best… Continue Reading →

Day Twelve-Lucky Bamboo & Goldfish

Lucky Bamboo is kind of a misnomer; it doesn’t actually belong to the bamboo family. However, it is considered good luck and believed to bring happiness and prosperity.  As the legend goes, placing the “bamboo” stalks in groupings of 3,… Continue Reading →

Day Eleven – Lucky Acorns

In my continuing adult education about good luck charms, I learned the tale of the humble acorn.  Apparently during the Norman Conquest, the English carried around dried acorns to protect themselves against the harshness and brutalities of the day.

Day Ten – Senior Elefante

For Day 10, I decided to continue with the animal theme of yesterday, as elephants are lucky in India.  In the interest of continuity, this elephant also happens to be dressed like a dapper gentleman.

Day Nine – Lucky Piggies

Working on this series required a little bit of research.  I looked into all different kinds of good luck charms from all over the world, and I even kept a list going in my phone to keep it all organized…. Continue Reading →

Day Eight – Knock on Wood!

I’m totally guilty of this superstition…I even knock on my own head in the absence of wood.  This is exactly why I chose to use my wooden artist’s figure to illustrate my goofiness.  In addition, I figured the use of… Continue Reading →

Day Seven – Lucky Break

Today’s drawing for the Buena Suerte mini-series is of a wishbone. As the tradition goes, the wish gets granted to whomever gets the larger half in the break.  Also, this is where we get the expression, “lucky break!”  However, when… Continue Reading →

Day Six: Paper Crane

It is said that folding 1,000 origami paper cranes will grant you a wish.  I wish for that patience to be able to make a wish!

Day Five: Scarab Beetle

Official genus and species of the sacred Egyptian beetle is Scarabaeus sacer, and it is the latest drawing in my Buena Suerte series.  The scarab beetle managed to do two things that mirrored or coordinated with what two of the… Continue Reading →

Day Four: Lucky Rabbit’s Foot

Two things I’m quite fond of are the movie “In the Line of Fire” and animals.  When I was thinking of lucky charms,  of course the rabbit’s foot came to mind, even though i’m not sure it was at all… Continue Reading →

Day Three: Dream Catcher

The Dream Catcher originated with the Ojibwa people.  According to their legend, the dream catcher was made to  collect any harm that might be in the air.  This was the reason for the spiderweb-like netting within the hoop, as spiderwebs… Continue Reading →

Day Two: Lucky Horseshoe (Crab)

I’ve heard you have to keep a horseshoe upright, otherwise if you turn it upside down all the luck will fall out.  Just in case, I’ve added a horseshoe crab to keep an eye out…and also for the pun factor… Continue Reading →

Buena Suerte! A drawing a day challenge for January 2017

There’s something auspicious about a new year, whether it be positive changes, breaking of bad habits, or just plain superstition.  I’ve chosen to explore the latter for the month of January and create daily drawings of good luck symbols, icons… Continue Reading →

She Shattered

For this piece, I liked the contrast of the woman really happy, with shards of glass in her mind.  When things deconstruct in life, it is seldom pleasant.  However, the good thing is that you can rebuild on your own terms,… Continue Reading →

She Timed

A girl so nice, I painted her twice.  Both my parents are artists and I’ve been encouraged to draw and create from a really young age.  While I was always a patient kid (a hobby of mine was building card… Continue Reading →

She Burned

Oh, she burned.  Expressions stick around because generally they offer some sound advice.  One of my favorites, and a reoccurring theme of late is “Don’t burn bridges.”  This phrase loosely means when relationship ends, it is wise to not end… Continue Reading →

She Crazy

This piece is dedicated to all the women out there who seem like they have it all together on the outside, but internally feel very, very different.  Also, I dedicate this artwork to women who love fine jewelry and cuckoo… Continue Reading →

She Snapped

Ever have a memory so vivid you could recall it in your mind, the same way you look at a photograph?  That’s what this piece is about.   My mom and I joke with one another about the things “your brain… Continue Reading →

She Overhead

I happen to be a big fan of antiquated things.  I like looking at things that used to be the latest and greatest, but are now basically reduced to objects, no longer serving their original function.  Case in point, the… Continue Reading →

She Dig

Ever hear Peter Gabriel’s “Digging in the Dirt?”  That is the same concept I explored in this piece, and is a reoccurring theme in this series.  We all have things locked away in our minds; memories, experiences, things we want… Continue Reading →

She sunk.

When I started this painting, I said to my husband,”Is there something wrong with me?  Lots of people paint happy things, like landscapes or a still life.”  He assured me that there wasn’t.  I suppose there are lot of different… Continue Reading →

She twisted.

The latest in my “Perspectives” Series, this little 6″x12″ painting is entitled “She twisted.”  Suffering from either an intentional or unintentional blindness, this little lady shows us what’s going on inside her stomach. I heard a story on the radio… Continue Reading →

She upstairs.

Here is the latest painting from my “Perspectives” series.  This one is entitled “She upstairs.”  A solemn, poised girl shows the viewer that she is opening up the attic in her mind. The idea for this painting came when I… Continue Reading →

She sinks…

  I finished up this painting about a month ago, but I forgot to post it.  Usually I finish a piece before moving on to the next one, however this one took well over a year to finish.  Between start… Continue Reading →

Hey thanks, Skyline!

Just wanted to give a huge thanks to the fine folks at SkylineArtEditions.com for featuring me as their “Artist of the Month” for June!  Pictures are up on their site of my studio & home and they interviewed me as well. In… Continue Reading →

I do!

I have to admit I’m a terrible graphic designer.  I’m slow and I don’t know illustrator, so I have to do everything by hand and then in Photoshop.  With that being said, I’m also stubborn and know what I want,… Continue Reading →

She wish.

She certainly wish.  Stars in her eyes, crystal ball in hand, wishing of things to come.  It’s poetic to think that the stars’ position in the sky, on the exact date and time you were born, has some significance on… Continue Reading →

She wrecked.

I’ve completed a new painting for your viewing pleasure.  Here we have a seemingly sweet girl with a soft smile, with something far less innocuous going on.  I really appreciate how different people can look at art and think/feel different… Continue Reading →

She cold.

The series continues!  In “She cold” we’re looking at a poised and cool (pun intended) lady.  Since we’re allowed to see inside her noggin, we see an old-time ice block which is causing her frigid exhale. For my fellow ladies… Continue Reading →

She away.

“She away” is the latest in my current unnamed series. While she may be present, it appears as if she’s mentally elsewhere.

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