2019 Winter Reflections Craft Fair

Hey, Everyone! What are you doing this weekend? Hopefully you are stopping over to South Hills School of Business and Technology at 480 Waupelani Drive sometime between 9am and 4pm on Saturday (11/23) for their Winter Reflections Craft Fair and More! There is free admission, free parking, and it’s wheelchair accessible and I’ll be one of more than 40 vendors you can visit to start off your holiday shopping season!

I’ll be spending the rest of the week updating the Portfolio with new art – most of which you will be able to check out at the Fair. Plus I’ll have prints – or can print to order whichever piece you’d like. I have some frames to show you some options too.

And there will be so many more artists and vendors there – be sure to check out the Facebook event for even more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1662549167209409/

Hope to see you there!

(If you don’t make it to the Fair, wander over to the Etsy store next week where I will have updated items for sale or hop over to the Contact page and send me an email to let me know what you are interested in.)

Art on Display at Webster’s

For the month of October, my art is on display at Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe in the David R. Neumann Art Gallery. If you are in the State College, PA area, stop by 133 East Beaver Avenue and check it out. And, if you will be in town this Friday, October 4th, then come on in to Webster’s for First Friday – they host a reception for the monthly artist and I’ll be there! I am not sure of the official time for the reception, but I’ll be there around 5pm and will hang out until they close at 8:30pm.

All of the art I chose are originals and they are available for sale – if possible, the piece should hang for the month, but I can work with Webster’s to replace the piece if necessary. Webster’s will handle the sale, so you can browse for a great book, have a cup of coffee from the cafe, and pick up a new piece of art without a fuss!

Here are some pictures from today – we went down an put up all the pieces. Boy, is it great to see them all framed and hanging! I hope you will stop by – if you do, let me know what your favorite piece is.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Thorney Art Shop on Etsy is now open!

Finally! Thorney Art Studio is on Etsy. The shop is named Thorney Art Shop and it has listings available for you to browse!

Thorney Art Shop on Etsy

There are a bunch of originals listed with more originals and prints to be listed throughout the week. There are already a couple of Christmas pieces – Jolly Elf and Angel – with another coming soon. We will also be working to link this site with the store so you will be able to easily access your favorite pieces.

Love to hear what you think!


More New Works!

There are still more new things available at the Winter Reflections Craft Fair (South Hills School in State College PA on 11-17 – yes, today! – from 9am-4pm)!! There may even be one more new piece if I finish painting it….we will have to see. So, what are the new pieces?

Ellen Thorne - Fawn

First up is a little girl with little fawn ears and horns. I was very surprised to find out that there is no mythological creature that was a combination of deer and human! I’ll remain undeterred – I really love drawing these little fawns!

She is in soft green pajamas with little pearl buttons on the front and has long pink-ish hair. I gave her big doe eyes to go with those ears and horns!

The printer and the framer that I have spoken with recently recommended that I leave a border around the piece, so I am going to try to stick to that. Sometimes the idea in my head pushes out the things I should be doing and I just paint, but I imagine that most pieces will get the border!

Fawn in White Birch Grove

Next is a second fawn standing in a grove of white birch. I worked on her during a recent road trip to southern York County in Pennsylvania. It was a great trip! When I lived in the southern US, I missed the white birch – they were always something I looked for on the drive back to PA – and I find that they pop up in my art journal from time to time.

She has a big moon behind her and a small pine branch with a pine cone in her hand – and flowers in her hair. I was busy with the detail on this one! I kept the overall coloring of the first fawn and concentrated a bit more on extra details.


For the last of my new pieces, I turned to Alphonse Mucha. His work called Night Sky is one of my favorites and I had been sketching girls with flowing dresses, so I set to work making my own version of that wonderful piece. I love the crescent moon and decided to do dotted circles around the stars to make the sky different than the shadow of the moon. I did circles of stars on her dress and flowers in her hair, similar to the Mucha work. I also tried putting her arms and hands in the same place. Ugh…still hate hands, but pretty pleased with this attempt. I am really happy with her and think she will be a big hit (even though the printer couldn’t do more than a quick single copy for me today – I’ll take orders for prints and pounce on the printer on Monday!!).

Ode to Night Sky

For more detail about each piece, check out the Portfolio. There are so many new pieces there after Inktober and all the work I have been doing to get ready for the craft fair! The Etsy store I spoke of is still in progress and I am still hoping to launch that in the next few days – a lot will depend upon how well the craft fair goes and if I need more prints done. But it is coming in time for any holiday shopping that you would like to do!

Well, I am as ready as I can be for this first craft fair! I do hope you will come out and say hello if you can! It is going to be a great day!!

See you soon,


The Fairy Tale Series

Ellen Thorne - Fairy Tale Collection


At the Winter Reflections Craft Fair I will be debuting a series of paintings centered around fairy tales. Each piece captures our poor heroines at the crucial moment in the tale – not the “happily ever after” moment, but the moment after their critical choice when everything is about to go horribly awry. The girls are all done in the same pose and work together individually or as a set. They will be available as full size prints, small prints and note cards.

Here are our heroines:

Ellen Thorne - Cinderella Without Her Shoe
Cinderella Without Her Shoe

Ellen Thorne - Snow White With Her Apple
Snow White With Her Apple

Ellen Thorne - Alice With Her Bottle
Alice With Her Bottle

Ellen Thorne - Beauty With Her Spindle
Beauty With Her Spindle

Ellen Thorne - Rapunzel With Her Hair
Rapunzel With Her Hair

Ellen Thorne - Red With Her Basket
Red With Her Basket



Having worked through a lot of Tamara Laporte’s Ever After classes, I have learned a few things. First, I am not a big fan of fairy tales! The heroines are often rather vapid and selfish – sometimes genuinely uninspiring. At some point I’d like to work through a retelling of the tales, but for some reason I took great delight in highlighting the low moments for each tale. (Not exactly sure what that says about me!) I also am somewhat annoyed that our modern versions of these characters are often blonde haired with blue eyes and blue or pink dresses. Not being an overly girly-girl, that is a bit off-putting as well! Still, keeping them in their “Disney-fied” outfits does make them easy to recognize, so I stuck with that for this series.

Well, I hope you love them as much as I do! Come on out to the Craft Fair – South Hills School of Business and Technology in State College, PA, this Saturday (11/17) from 9am – 4pm – and see them for yourself. The note cards are particularly adorable, if I do say so myself!!

See you soon!



Holiday Girls

Ellen Thorne - Angel

Two of the featured works at my table at the Winter Reflections Craft Show will be perfect for the holidays! These were made to debut at the show and were so much fun to bring to life.

First is an Angel, halo askew, who is tired from all of the festivities. The gold halo and lyre have a nice sheen and her bright red hair really stands out! She just popped onto the page with almost no effort and is watercolors with dip pen and ink, colored pencils, white pen and a bit of graphite. And paint splatters – had to have those!

Ellen Thorne - Angel

And then there is her friend, a Jolly Elf with lots of jingle bells and curly toed shoes! She is still dressed in her red and green at the end of the night and has a little gift to open. She was a tough one to do as I figured out how to have all that red and green, but still have the package and her outfit show up nicely. But after a few layers of paint, everything worked out just fine! She is also done in mostly watercolors with dip pen and ink, colored pencils, white pen, a bit of graphite and trusty paint splatters.

Ellen Thorne - Elf

Be sure to stop by the Craft Show at South Hills School of Business and Technology in State College on Saturday (11/17) from 9am – 4pm to see these lovely holiday girls for yourself! They will be available in full size prints (11×15 inches), small prints (9×6.5 inches) and as cute little cards.

Stay tuned to see more about the set of fairy tale characters that I did in a similar style to these beauties, another new fawn girl, an homage to one of my favorite Alphonse Mucha’s works, and a list of other pieces that I’ll have at the fair. I could even have a surprise or two – I haven’t stopped painting!

See you soon!


Inktober 2018


If you follow Thorney Art Studio on social media, then you got to follow along the whole month of October as I worked on daily ink drawings from a prompt list for an event called Inktober. I managed to complete all 31 days and wanted to share the whole thing with you here too. It was quite a challenge – some of the prompts were hard and some days are just not overflowing with inspiration, but I really learned a lot over the month. It is also great to know you are drawing every day – this whole ‘art thing’ is going to make for a wonderful retirement plan because I can paint all day long!

I did all of the pieces on fairly inexpensive watercolor paper. It is also fairly small paper so that I could get supplies back and forth to work easily. I worked on these at lunch and (don’t tell my boss) during long boring video conference meetings! As instructed, I kept to black and white – with gray when the ink is watered down – for the whole challenge. There is only one little spot of red! It was hard at first to not use color, but it really let me focus on how to convey meaning a bit differently. I also tried to work with different poses and facial expressions, tried animals and other subjects, and spent a lot of time Googling all sorts of things (what a brain looks like, for example!).

This was a really great challenge and I feel like a grew a lot! I learned a lot about shading and using a bit of crosshatching techniques which I have used a bit in more recent pieces. I found that working without color really let me dig into how to get the eyes to look better and that is really paying off too. It was fun to find idioms or stories that would fit the prompt to help with the subject and I have a whole list of things to try sometime soon. I am also painting more frequently and am less apt to skip out just because I am a bit stressed or tired after work.

Here is a slideshow of the entire month.

You can also view it in a browser here.

(Like all of my slideshows, this was done in Kizoa. There are lots of great ways to create a slideshow of your pictures to share with your friends, so check it out!)

Let me know if you have a favorite and (if you live near State College, PA) come visit the Winter Reflections Craft Fair at South Hills to see the pieces yourself. I am trying to get prints done in time, but I’ll have the originals and will take orders for prints if I need to!

If you are interested in seeing any of the individual pieces, here are links to their pages in the Portfolio:

  1. Poisonous
  2. Tranquil
  3. Roasted
  4. Spell
  5. Chicken
  6. Drooling
  7. Exhausted
  8. Star
  9. Precious
  10. Flowing
  11. Cruel
  12. Whale
  13. Guarded
  14. Clock
  15. Weak
  16. Angular
  17. Swollen
  18. Bottle
  19. Scorched
  20. Breakable
  21. Drain
  22. Expensive
  23. Muddy
  24. Chop
  25. Prickly
  26. Stretch
  27. Thunder
  28. Gift
  29. Double
  30. Jolt
  31. Slice

I hope you have enjoyed Inktober as much as I have – I’ll definitely be doing this again next year! See you soon!


2018 Winter Reflections Craft Show


Alright Everyone – my recent lack of posting can now be fully explained. I have been painting up a storm because (it is official!!) I’ll be at the Winter Reflections Craft Show at South Hills School of Business and Technology in State College next Saturday (11/17) from 9 am to 4 pm!!

I hope you will come and join us – there will be over 40 vendors there including handmade gifts, accessories, toys, soaps, candles, decorations and more, including some favorite vendors like Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Scentsy!

So, bring the family for a fun day out. There will be baked goods, and the cafeteria is serving hot and cold snacks and beverages. You can also take part in a raffle to win great prizes!

Admission is free and so is parking. And the building is fully wheelchair accessible.

As for me, I’ll have some originals and prints – lots of new stuff – available for sale which I’ll be featuring here and on my social media sites all week long.

So, mark your calendars and stop by to say hello!

Studio Goings On

Ellen Thorne - Fairy Tale Collection

Hi, Everyone! Betcha you thought I gave up on things, didn’t you? NOPE! I have been busy painting and painting and painting. I am waiting to hear if I have a spot in my very first arts and crafts fair, so I have been working to put together a bunch of new work (just in case!) and….dum, da, DUM…putting together an Etsy store. Everything will launch the weekend of November 17th – the fair is on the 17th and the Etsy store will launch on the 18th.

There – I have put it out there, so it has to happen! (Now off to find a grindstone to put my nose to….)

I have been working hard to make some original work that will post that weekend. First, I have done a series of paintings that are based on fairy tales. Here is the picture of the group:

Ellen Thorne - Fairy Tale Collection

The Fairy Tale CollectionSo there is Alice (in Wonderland), Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Cinderella. All are on 11×14 paper with watercolor, colored pencils, and black/white markers. Each will have their own post as the Big Weekend approaches – but they are all are done to highlight the moment of their character’s downfall. So, Alice with her bottle, Red after her altercation with the wolf, Snow White after eating the apple, Sleeping Beauty after she pricks her finger on the spindle, Rapunzel after she cuts her hair and Cinderella after the ball. All of these will be available soon to purchase – originals and prints.

One of the things I’ll do with the fairy tales collection is make a note card set. That got me thinking about Christmas and I’ll have an angel and an elf in Christmas cards available that weekend as well. Here are the pics:

Ellen Thorne - Angel

Ellen Thorne - Elf








An angel and an elf that will be available as a set or individually – in prints and as cards. Perfect for the holidays!

October is also the time for Inktober – a month-long web event where you create art based on a prompt list. I am posting daily work to my Facebook page, Instagram account and Twitter account – and will post at the end of the month here with a slideshow of all of the art. I am learning that 31 consecutive days of art using only black and white ink from a list of prompts is pretty hard – tomorrow’s prompt is ‘expensive’ and inspiration is nowhere to be found! My current favorites are Drooling and Whale, but let me know which is your favorite.

You should head over to the Portfolio – I have done a few new pieces. (A bit of color in this month of black and white!) They include a Raggedy Ann, a Sailor Girl and a very precocious girl . So much fun!

I hope you are following my website – or Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. There is so much happening and I don’t want you to miss a thing! Now….back to building that Etsy store….

See you very soon!


Making of Nouveau Princess

Ellen Thorne - Klimt Princess

I was recently digging around Pinterest in my saved Pins looking for something to inspire me and wandered into my Klimt board – I love Gustav Klimt. Sure I love The Kiss, but there are so many interesting ones! But there is one – on Pinterest said to be a Klimt – a detail of the Beethoven frieze – that I learned really was not a Klimt. I have no idea to whom to attribute the source image! But, inspired anyway, I headed off to do what artists are wont to do and created my own  version.

To see how closely I followed the image, check out my Pinterest Pin here. I kept a lot of the elements, but changed a lot too. I even pulled some things from Klimt’s paintings to highlight different spots. Here is how she came together:

Ellen Thorne - Klimt Princess - First Layers
A start of colors

First, I looked at the image I had found and a few actual Klimt works and then set out knowing a couple of things. First, I wanted the moon with the funny layered arch motif around her face. Next, I wanted my girl – hands on hips and chin held high. I loved the overall look of the dress and the gold circles along the sides. From there, I sketched a bunch of elements he uses – circles, squares, triangles, and more.

While the picture I took of the sketch is way to difficult to see, I did get a picture right after adding some yellows. I have said before that I am not a fan of bright yellows and I found myself reaching for my Goldenrod water color pencil and my Yellow Ochre water color crayon to tone things back in most spots.

After taking that picture, I just kicked back and relaxed, working through each space individually. I used only a few colors – the silver highlights on her dress, flowers and crown, the yellows, a ruddy brown, and the gold acrylic, and then the black and white pens.

Ellen Thorne - Klimt Princess Face Detail
A close up of her face.

I love how her face turned out – the silver bits really bring her face out in an otherwise busy part of the painting. I added some delicate curls to her hair and just love how everything ended up framing her face. All of the detail on the moon took quite a bit of time, but was truly worth it!

For the background, I used a light blue. Klimt uses blues in some of his paintings and I liked how that worked with the silver and how it made the yellow elements really stand out.

Last year we were in New England and saw a piece from Eldzier Cotor which was definitely more art nouvea and had a lot more movement than my take on this piece does.  I also love Alphonse Mucha’s figure positions more than Klimt because many are more direct and interesting to me, but I do see little things that I did that were influence by all of those artists in this piece.

It is not uncommon to find things on Pinterest that are not correctly attributed, so I was a bit disappointed that the primary reference image was not Gustav Klimt, but I still think that the things that speak to me from art nouveau style paintings are in there.

So, here is the final work!

I hope you like my Nouveau Princess – she was tons of fun! I will likely revisit this sometime and try out more Klimt-like things!

See you again soon!


Ellen Thorne - Klimt Princess
The final piece