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Elizabeth
Marraffino-Rees
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I came to the visual arts relatively late in my life at a time when words seemed to have deserted me. The urge to speak was supplanted by the need for my eyes to devour the wonderful visual display of life around me-a world I had rushed past too quickly for most of my life.. It was as if I had been blind and suddenly was given the gift of sight. To celebrate and honor that gift I began to paint and draw, first on my own but within a year saw the need for some formal training.

I was fortunate that a friend sent me to a wonderful art teacher, Allen Hart, who is a an extraordinary figurative expressionist painter and generous mentor. Within the first six months of starting my studies, I began renting studio space and painting and drawing as if my life depended on it. After studying with Allen throughout the 1980s in the energizing, inspiring and supportive atmosphere of the Visual Studies Center on Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village, I began my own teaching career working first at Visual Studies in the adult program, then adding classes at the Crafts Students League of the YWCA in New York City, where I continue to teach both day and evening classes as well as workshops in oil painting techniques and experimental approaches to the art of painting.

While I feel most drawn to the work of the Abstract Expressionists, I find that coming to art late, I am compelled by the need to interpret the reality in front of me in a more figurative fashion. Over the past 15 years my work has shifted from primarily landscape, to primarily still life - owing perhaps to my explorations into the world of clay and sculptural ceramics with Vera Lightstone, another gifted and generous mentor and teacher. The pleasure and challenge of volume I found in hand-building clay vessels has translated into a deeper interest in space, volume and dimensionality in my painting.

Liz
  Still Lifes Landscapes Animal Images
Ancient Faces Abstract