Lunch Drawing #13: A Spider for Ellen Lanyon

Lunch Drawing #13: A Spider for Ellen LanyonMy friend Ellen Lanyon passed away.

She was a tough old painter who enjoyed a long and amazing evolution as an artist. She had a deep connection to nature; its nuances and riddles, digressions and mystery. She rendered these ideas with a kind of magic that was singular, and only like herself. A painting of spiders, colored like candy emerging from nesting boxes, is a particular favorite.

She once attended a talk I gave at Ox-Bow 25 years ago, which was full of my anti-academic, bloviating ridicule and it played well with the kids. She walked up to me and said “You know, you make a lot of noise, Buddy. If I were about a foot taller I might just poke you in the nose.”

I looked at her and replied, “Then I’m damned lucky that you have to stand on a box to kick a duck in the ass.”  A smile crept across her face and she laughed.

It was the beginning of a friendship that lasted 30 years. This one is for her.

Godspeed Ellen Lanyon…

Published in: on October 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. Hi Tony,

    My name is J.R. and I work at Ox-Bow. We’re about to send a special enewsletter tribute for Ellen tomorrow and I was wondering if I may include this story. It’s a fantastic story. I can almost hear Ellen call you Buddy. You can reach me at if you have any questions or concerns.

    Thanks so much,

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