Kathleen Elsey will be opening her studio for a tour that features one painting for every year she’s been at it. Arranged chronologically, these works chart Kathleen 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’s an accomplished technician. Take for example “Rio Lindo,” from 2000. 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." by Elizabeth Schwyzer
“Pink Fog Morning,” from the following year, post-dates the attacks of September 11 by three weeks and is by far the darkest work in this show. The artist seems perched on a narrow deck above the ocean, a single railing separating her from the chaos of cliff, rock, and surf far below. “This painting was made on October 3, 2001--- a beautiful autumn morning at the coast. It was about 3 weeks after the attacks of September 11. I was searching for peace and tranquility so headed to the coast. About 2.5 miles north of Salmon Creek is a small group of homes sitting on the coast. Andrew, a friend of mine has a small weekend home there and has told me to paint there whenever I want. So standing on his very narrow deck, barely big enough for my easel, I spend many quiet hours there. I left sunny Sonoma Mountain to find the coast engulfed in thick blanket of pink fog rolling over the hills. After I finished painting I always rewarded myself with a solitary session of chair sitting and daydreaming. This painting has a dreamlike quality and a lack of clarity unlike most of my other paintings. Perhaps indicative of the future.” Kathleen Elsey
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© 2014 Kathleen Elsey