Louisa McElwain | oil of joy
06 August 5 – 7 pm | opening reception friday evening through August 30
A classically trained artist with roots firmly planted in the New York School of Abstract Expressionism, McElwain paints with knives and masonry trowels, seeking to follow the rhythm of Nature in a dance to the tempo of the evolving day. It was at the Nera Simi drawing studio in Florence, Italy, in 1973 where McElwain says she learned to see value, the relationship of dark to light, by focusing on the same figure drawing for a minimum of two weeks. Informed by the color theory of Joseph Albers and a masters workshop with Wolf Kahn, the quest for her own voice lead McElwain to synthesize her skills and ideas, resulting in her inimitable approach to landscape painting: a balance between allowing the paint to exist for its own sake, not subordinate to the motif, while expressing something true about her experience of nature.
While painting landscape in NM, McElwain discovered her connection to the Divine "A powerful feeling surges up from the earth and through me as I paint," she says. "I am a conduit for the creative energy of the Universe, which I now recognize as the Holy Spirit for whom I exist, to bring glory to the Creator.”