Open Studios Featured Artist: Elizabeth Black

Elizabeth Black

 

Art is for Everybody

Elizabeth Black’s realistic western landscape paintings inspire one to hike, camp and raft in the natural wonder that is the western United States. She captures the quality of light and a moment of time which invite you into the scene on a deeply personal level. “I’m interested in how people fit into the landscape. Some folks do not like paintings with people in them, as if people are not a ‘natural’ part of the landscape. But we are everywhere, and we are part of the natural world. I like to find ways to allow people to fit into the landscape.” Elizabeth is quick to point out though that she only includes people in some paintings in which she is exploring humanities relationship to our natural environment.

Some of Elizabeth’s paintings are done in series over the course of a day to study how the light changes the mood of a place. “Recently, I completed a series of four paintings of Saddle Canyon as seen at four different times of day.  They are each quite different, as the light in the Canyon changes so dramatically during the day.”  Elizabeth says she strives to be honest in her painting, and the closer she is able to capture what she sees, the more successful the painting becomes.

In addition to her artistic endeavors, Elizabeth has been active in developing Boulder’s artists’ community over the past 25 years. Together with a few local artists, she organized an art show which utilized vacant office buildings in downtown Boulder back in the 80s. “Don Hobbs, a local Boulder organizer asked some developers if we could use vacant commercial office space to hold an art opening. They agreed, but we had to build out the space, run the electrical wiring, build the walls and get the place ready for a public opening. It was a huge undertaking. But it gave us a crash course in how to get things done.” Elizabeth has been involved in creating art shows in Boulder ever since.

One show Elizabeth organized with Cha Cha was the Eccentric Artists’ Garden Tour, which opened artists’ gardens to the public, and showed work inspired by those gardens at the Library. As an avid gardener, Elizabeth and her photographer husband, Chris Brown, have created an enchanted landscape in their backyard. They have even developed a program which gifts trees to people to plant in their own yards as a way to locally combat the devastating effects of global warming. “We give the trees away so that people can plant them in their own gardens, and do something positive about climate change. We have about 300 seedlings which will be ready to go out next June.”

“I am a firm believer in removing all pretentions about art. Art is for everyone.” As a result, Elizabeth’s work is surprisingly affordable. She wants lots of people to be able to enjoy her paintings.

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