about the Shellz . . .

“Like anyone who has ever wandered across a beach, I am drawn to seashells.”


Painting under the pseudonym “ZooLN”, Sue Ellen creates fluid organic forms that are at once representational and conceptual, playfully academic, intricate yet deceptive in their apparent simplicity.  Her seashell designs offer an endless variety of form, texture, and color: each aspect a point of departure for creative expression and artistic challenge.


Described by the Birmingham News as “lyrical linear abstractions,” ZooLN’s Shells Series evokes a range of scale, color and form reminiscent of Georgia O’Keefe, instilling a profound sense of passion, intellect, and subtle movement into a highly structured, yet elegant graphic space.


“Shells are inherently beautiful: simple constructs revealing complex organic forms and subtle algo-rhythms. Spirals, like the nautilus, are special to me. They express the algebra of cycles, the pattern of unending growth and movement.”


"After years of painting in strict realism, I grew tired of the demands of polishing details in a predetermined space. Abstraction offered a welcome change, a new freedom in a place where I faced similar challenges of design, color, and technique, yet was allowed to move the content of my work beyond the immediate expectations of the viewer. Unwilling to yield to the harsh symbolism and endless repetition that has come to characterize so much of abstract expressionism, I sought instead to create a balanced reflection of beauty, emotion and intellect.


"Like everyone who has ever wandered the beach, I am drawn to seashells. Shells are inherently beautiful - simple constructs revealing complex organic processes and subtle algo-rhythms, embodying the unlikely combination of elegance, protection and security. Shell designs offer an endless variety of form, texture and color, providing infinite potential for creative interpretation, and wonderful conceptual and technical challenges for any artist. Spirals, whorls, the algebra of cycles, the patterns of unending growth and movement – these are the products of a fluid environment, and represent the threads of beauty, harmony, color, and flow that I wish to express in my work.


"The same design methods and techniques that I use to paint my seashell abstractions have lent themselves naturally to the creation of sinuous waveforms and fluid landscapes, broadening the scope of my work, while maintaining a visual continuity of color, energy and lyric motion."