Elaine West Profile Photo

Elaine West

San Rafael, CA

I continue to explore oil painting in a way that is both responsive to how a scene speaks to me, and is also open to variations in styles. Abstraction was added to the mix in just the last few years, rounding out the array of stylistic approaches.

My deepest roots are in fairly tight realism, and indeed, I enjoyed a couple years' focus on photorealism as a Fine Arts undergrad. Since returning to fine art after retiring from a career in graphic design, I've delved deeply into both plein air painting (small and "in the field") and studio work. I take as much pleasure in considering all the possible directions I might take a painting, as I do in venturing forward with few pre-conceived notions, avoiding possible "formulas". Thus, a range of styles, usually dramatic and a focus on color, light or mood. Having subjects out my Sausalito windows like the houseboats, all sorts of watercraft and wildlife, and now enjoying the Pt Reyes National Seashore, inspiration is always right at had.

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