Elaine Bradshaw

Santa Fe, New Mexico






I have been painting ever since I could toddle over, pick up a brush, and find a wall… no doubt my mother loved it! I began with detailed life drawing, and then moved on to watercolor, oil, and in the last 20 years, acrylic, which I love for the range and depth of effects it allows me to achieve.

I paint to celebrate the life force of the natural world as it is expressed through rhythm, color, and form, as well as to record the feelings it evokes in me. I believe that much of our response to our environment is based on not-so-conscious aspects of our visual experience. We may be enjoying a tree at sunset, but whether or not we are aware of it, we are absorbing the pattern of its branches against the sky, the shifting light and colors, and the movement in its leaves. Similarly, we may be responding to a previous experience of the same patterns and colors in another place and time, thus adding a layer of personal meaning. In any case, I feel that these experiences, whether “real” or on canvas, are doors to understanding and appreciating our world.

It follows that much of my work has been post-impressionist, expressionist, or abstract. However, the same principles underlie my recent more representational work, as well as my forays into other media (mosaic, pottery, glass, etc.). And then there is the fact that I love color and texture, regardless of the style of the painting!