A Little Bit of Magic

Cape Cod Life  /  June 2023 /

Writer: Leslie Hatton / Photographer: Ellen Paul 

It’s all in the details for artist Ellen Paul and her creations. When Ellen Paul finds a piece of driftwood on the beach, it isn’t just wood that’s been worn down by the sea, or a piece of timber, perhaps from a boat or maybe a tree, that has been tossed around (for years? months?) in waves and eventually thrown upon the sand to be exposed to the elements. No, when Ellen Paul finds a piece of driftwood, she sees a whale. “Maybe it’s a little bit crazy, but I believe that in every driftwood piece there is a whale.” She doesn’t know how this idea came to her but she truly believes it. “It’s a little bit of magic—because I take any piece of wood and I start to carry it and I don’t have a shape in mind. It just comes to me out of the wood.”  Originally from Belarus, a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, Ellen and her husband Alex (a successful photographer) came to the United States as a result of winning the Green Card Lottery. “It was challenging, but we have so many opportunities and possibilities here for work.” When they arrived, they almost settled in Boston, but after visiting a friend here on Cape Cod, she says she fell in love and seven years later, she is still finding beauty every day here. “I’ve tried many times to understand why Cape Cod hooked us. This place has a special atmosphere, vibe and a soul. No matter where we travel, we always return home here with joy.” In some ways, she credits her art for leading her to discover color and variety in what may have originally seemed drab here on the Cape. “I started to notice the small details when I would drive around…

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Leslie Hatton

Leslie (Horne) Hatton enthusiastically joined Cape Cod Life in October of 2022. Educated in Mashpee and Falmouth, she graduated from Assumption College and received her Master of Education degree from Lesley College. A former teacher, she has taught middle school, preschool and most recently, fifth grade. She and her husband Tom have three children: Aidan, Colin, and Erin. Their newest family member is Millie, an outgoing, outrageously happy chocolate lab. She loves to talk about all of them so better not ask. One neat tidbit about Leslie is that she is the author of the locally best-selling children’s book Cape Cod ABCs, with over 10K books sold on Cape Cod, the Islands and across Massachusetts. Happiest in the summer with a little sun on her face, she loves being with friends and her family, laughing, drinking and eating all over beautiful Cape Cod.