Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Louisa McElwain - Large Format Plein Air

You might call it X-Large Format Plein Air...Louisa McElwain's plein air paintings can be up to 60"x90".

She uses the back of her pickup/camper as an easel and uses masonry trowels along with palette knives to mix and apply the paint. Here is a video of her working on location in sunny New Mexico:

She has studied drawing in Italy, attended the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and attended a master class with Wolf Kahn.

"Out of my education and experience I have blended two distinct ideas, the respect for materials and gesture held by the action painters of American abstract expressionism and the expressive breadth and reverence for Nature of the romantic composer Johannes Brahms.

I reject the presumption that the validity of contemporary art is commensurate with its ability to “challenge” the viewer, to provoke, repulse or offend, and question the motivation of artists who adhere to that school of thought. Rather, I strive to balance the beauty of the paint with the beauty of the motif, to create paintings that gratify, nourish and empower. I celebrate the embrace of the divine mysteries."