The paintings in this exhibition were primarily painted during the lockdown of COVID. In general, the solace I get from art-making makes things like pandemics a lot easier to put up with. The show is titled “Autumn” because the fall season has always been a huge inspiration for my work and this is evident in a number of the pieces in the exhibit. I found myself at a bit of a loss when the pandemic started.. I did not even feel comfortable going to my studio for a while. My father died at the end of March 2020, and I channeled my grief into some paintings of him and worked on still life’s as I learned to teach via zoom.
As the spring turned to summer, I began to work en plein air again. It felt a little different to paint with a mask on, but this was a minor issue. My studio is in Manayunk and I ventured out to paint at some nearby spots…”Under the Elevated” is a more vibrant interpretation of the actual elevated line, and “The Color of Winter” Shows the street next to my studio, where I sought to depict the intensity of the end of day light on a winter afternoon.
After my last show in April of 2019, I thought I would focus on nocturnes for my next exhibit. I did a few of these, including “Philly Night Reflections”, “City Hubbub” and “Putting the Boats to Bed”, but other places I had planned to paint were not easily accessible during the pandemic and I found myself looking around for what I felt good about…I was scoping out the Barnes Arboretum in Merion in November, for a possible workshop in May, and I was blown away by the teahouse and pond. I loved coming back to paint there in the spring as well.
“At Land’s End” depicts a view in San Francisco, my last trip before the pandemic hit. Back home, the Schuylkill river offers continual inspiration for me, whether it is views towards the city, or as in “River from Above”, a view from the Laurel Hill Cemetery, or the view of the dredgers from the boathouses. Bryn Mawr College is close to my house and a favorite walk was down the center of campus through an “allée of oak trees”. This walk was taken away during Covid when signs went up all over campus telling visitors to keep out. I did sneak in anyway to do a thumbnail sketch for this painting. Another place I love to paint in the fall is along French Creek in Chester County. The place just sings with color in October and into November.
Intense exaggerated color is a hallmark of my work. I see color where others might not, and part of what draws me to paint is to capture and share the intensity of what I am seeing. I am hoping to take an ordinary scene and make it mesmerizing.
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. I know I have been successful in my work when the viewer feels as though he or she has been there. I love to hear, “It feels like you could walk right into it!”.
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This is a sampling of some of the work which will be on view.
For information on pricing or to purchase a painting, please contact Gross McCleaf Gallery. Phone: 215-665-8138
ELAINE LISLE’S SOLO EXHIBITION AT GROSS MCCLEAF IS THOUGHTFULLY TITLED, “AUTUMN”. WHILE THE FALL HAS LONG BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH WINDING DOWN, THERE IS ALSO AN ASPECT OF THIS TIME OF YEAR THAT REPRESENTS A NEW BEGINNING: A NEW SEASON, THE START OF THE SCHOLASTIC YEAR, AND THE ANNUAL COUNT-DOWN TOWARD THE SUCCESSION OF HOLIDAYS THAT CULMINATE IN NEW YEAR’S DAY.
IN LISLE’S NEW PAINTINGS, THE ARTIST CONVEYS THE COMFORT AND SOLACE THAT A RETURN TO ROUTINE BRINGS AND THE OPTIMISM OF BEGINNING ANEW. THE WORK CLEARLY PRESENTS LISLE’S DELIGHT IN THE SINGULAR BEAUTY OF THIS TIME OF YEAR AS TREES TURN BRILLIANT HUES, BLUE SKIES ARE FREED OF SUMMER’S HUMIDITY, AND GLORIOUS SUNSETS GIVE WAY TO CRISP EVENINGS.