What I seek to do artistically is to first encapsulate the rarity of people and relationships in a way that celebrates them, while at the same time recognizing their ephemeral nature. My purpose is to draw upon the inspiration of everyday people and capture their unique spirits and moments.
My images are captured through a multimedia treatment of photo transfer. I both collect photographs and take my own. After selecting one, I enlarge it onto the canvas, drip it, rub it, dry it, work it with glazes and encaustics, gel medium and acrylic. I stain and paint the surface, focusing on layering and voids. I consider a defined image versus a blurred image. I don't want or need anything to be perfect; I rip the copy before I even lay it down. Removing the pulp in a cumbersome but gratifying process of over-layers and under-layers allows me to reveal my subject anew. The process is dynamic.
This series began after I lost my mother. I did photo transfers of dead relatives to preserve family memories. My work evolved into taking photos of those around me. I choose unposed scenarios, trying to capture an intangible that is enhanced through the photo transfer/painting process. I see robust visuals in common surroundings that provide impetus for my work.
Elyse Martin is a Chicago born artist who has taught in the inner city since 1973. During her teaching tenure she has savored the excitement and accomplishments of her many students. Over the years her students have participated in numerous national juried art exhibitions and won a variety of local and national art competitions. For seven consecutive years, her students have won the premiere student cover art competition sponsored by the Chicago Bulls Educational Development Foundation.
Elyse has now turned her focus to her own work which is inspired by the energy of people close to her. She translates their energy to powerful, psychological images. Elyse incorporates paint, photo transfer and most recently encaustic, to create lush, personal landscapes. Collaborating with artist Jose Custodio, she recently completed a sixty foot mural at Jordan Community School in Chicago celebrating the achievement of former student and Olympic Gold Medalist Shani Davis. Elyse has also consulted with Crayola Corporation.