“Rio Lindo” 24” x 30”by Elizabeth Schwyzer,
Exerpt from the Santa Barbara Independent Journal
Kathleen Elsey will be opening her painting studio for a tour that features one painting for every year she’s been at it. Arranged chronologically, these works chart Elsey’s development from acrylic on paper through her transition to canvas and linen, a brief stint with oils, and a return to acrylic. There’s a good balance between figurative works and landscapes, and while these works show her artistic range, there are themes that run throughout: bright color, bold brushstrokes, and a whimsical approach to both medium and subject.
At the same time, Elsey is an accomplished technician. Take for example “Rio Lindo.” During this period, the artist stuck strictly to plein air painting, often starting with a bright red under-painting before layering on the subtler tones of earth and sky. Veins of fiery red show through here, delineating the fields and dancing up the flanks of golden hills. Down by the river, diagonal brushstrokes give way to choppier, kinetic lines, as if the water invigorated the surrounding plant life.
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