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Elyse Martin

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chicago, il

Birth year
many moons ago

Lives in

Works in


Washington University, St. Louis Mo., 1973, B.F.A.

mixed-media, figurative, photography


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.


Recent Exhibits

Elyse Martin participated in these exhibits:

Sep, 2012 Pentimento
Village of Lincolnwood Art Gallery
Jun, 2012 Studio 303 with Shawna Moore and Friends
Zhou B Art Center
Apr, 2012 Wax Works
Eyeporium Gallery
Oct, 2010 Kaleidoscope
Sep, 2010 FusedChicago presents Encaustic: Hot Art
The Art Center - Highland Park
Nov, 2009 12x12
The Art Center - Highland Park
Click here to see all exhibits for Elyse Martin
1st 2015 Showcase Entry


Elyse Martin Elyse Martin

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