Perhaps newer painters are not familiar with Touchstones by Ellen Stamilio. Ellen was a talented designer, an inspired artist and an enthusiastic teacher; she was also my mother! In the years following her death, I’ve discovered that I am similar to her in several ways; we share the same love of cats, a fondness for chocolate and an appreciation for collecting special “treasures”. Unfortunately, I do not share her skill with paints and brushes!
It would appear that my daughter Emma has been gifted with her Grammy Ellen’s artistic ability! Emma is showing a talent for modern calligraphy; she is developing a unique style and has painted several commissioned pieces. She has always had an eye for color, design, balance and her own personal aesthetic. Although NOT (yet) a collector, in keeping with the family tradition, Emma also loves cats and chocolate.
Recently, I wanted to create a card with an angel design; worried by my lack of talent, it dawned on me that perhaps I didn’t need to draw one; maybe I could find one among my mother’s designs. A quick trip to the attic revealed that her entire pattern collection was tucked away in boxes. Oh my, so very many angels to choose from! What a joy to discover that all that “is” Touchstones by Ellen Stamilio was safely preserved; a treasure of timeless designs that could surely be introduced to a new generation of decorative painters!
I’ve shared my wish to re-launch Touchstones with several painters, suppliers, distributors and friends of Ellen’s; the response has been completely positive. I feel blessed to have spoken with so many people who remember Ellen Stamilio as a friend, teacher, and artist. It is obvious that she touched many people in her short lifetime.
An angel may have led me to the attic, but it is through the encouragement of those who knew my mom that Ellen’s whimsical designs, folk art fruit, countryside studies and beloved cats, will find a new audience in the electronic age.