Elaine Lisle is a Philadelphia artist whose work explodes with color and light. She is equally at ease painting the urban landscape as the lavender in Provence. Schooled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania, Elaine has won regional and national awards, exhibited widely in the mid-atlantic, including New York City, and her richly painted oils are owned by numerous corporations as well as individual collectors around the globe. She is represented by Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia, Gallery 222 in Malvern and Les Poissons Gallery in Chestertown, MD.
My paintings express the feeling of awe I have with the landscape. They are more likely to be joyous, energetic, vibrant, complex works as opposed to gentle, pastel or brooding canvasses. I look for the surprise in the composition, whether it be a statement made by a lone figure, a spot of orange found in an otherwise green wood, or an unusual lavender reflection in a river at dusk. It is exciting for me to take an ordinary scene and make it extraordinary.
I have been painting my whole life, and professionally since 1994. I work only in oil. I studied at the University of Pennsylvania where I was greatly influenced by the work of Neil Welliver who was the Fine Arts Dept head at the time. I was mesmerized by the way he took an intricate landscape and broke it down into shapes of color. I went on to study painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where I continued my focus on painting the urban landscape. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Hopper, Sloan and Bellows of the ashcan school. I spent many years painting Philadelphia neighborhoods and have found the Schuylkill river to be a huge source of inspiration as well.
I love painting en plein air (outdoors from life), as well as completing larger works in the studio from on-site studies, reference sketches, and photographs. With commissioned works I generally complete more than one on-site sketch and often use reference photographs as well.
I live and work in the Philadelphia area but my travels have given me much inspiration as well. I have painted in France and Ireland numerous times. I grew up in New England so I am very partial to the woods and fall colors as well as the Maine landscape. More recently I have discovered the mid-atlantic seascapes of the eastern shore. My palette tends to feature bright warm colors, and high contrast. I love the long shadows of late afternoon and creating complex compositions so the viewer has much to contemplate. Paintings can be found in the most unlikely places, as well as the likely ones. I know I have been successful in my work when the viewer feels as though he or she has been there. People often say, “It feels like you could walk right into it!”.
Painting is part of my life’s journey. Producing art is a journey in itself, as I never know when I begin a painting where it will take me.