Artist’s Statement

Landscapes with a Difference - Artist Statement for Elizabeth Craumer

For me, art calls for simplifying nature’s complexities, and as an artist I strive to transfer that feeling of awe and wonder to the viewer. I am fascinated by the way the sun’s rays cast their glow on man-made objects and elements in nature alike. Barns have always had a special place in my heart as I grew up exploring the mysteries of my grandfather’s barn. I marvel at the history and the promise that each barn holds. Now I find myself looking at the entire farm, not just the barn. I prefer to work in my studio from photographs as it provides me the artistic opportunity to select the light as well as the season without having to endure the effects of weather. Various types of sanded pastel paper become my substrate because of the wide array of textures and colors available. Each paper I use brings something special to that particular painting as each color I lay down responds differently, depending on the paper color. First I establish an appropriate composition for the painting. Then a rough sketch is created using a pastel pencil. Soon I grab for more color, working all areas of the painting to establish a palette that will create a pleasing image. I search for the temperatures in warm and cool colors instead of looking for the natural color of a specific object. Pastels provide a wide range of intense colors; and, as a rule, I use a combination of Unison, Schminke, Great American, Mount Vision and Terry Ludwig pastels. By applying color using the side of the pastel, I am able to combine colors while still incorporating the paper color. I never blend the pastels with my fingers because such blending destroys the luxuriousness of the colors, dulling the effect of the light. As the painting progresses, I work to clarify the forms and space in the landscape. In the final steps, attention is focused on drawing the eye to the focal point using color, value and texture. Human existence becomes meaningful to me when viewed within the context and patterns of our natural environment. After all, humans are a part of that experience. It is this harmony, man with nature that inspires me to create and to share my passion with others through the luminosity of the pastel medium. I hope you enjoy my colorful impressions of the unending and colorful variety found in the New England landscape. I moved my studio and along with a group of other talented painters, I opened up a gallery where visitors can stop by,  see our work and talk to the artists while they are working. The gallery is called Creative Ventures Gallery and we are located at 411 Nashua Street, Milford, NH. Check out our website www.CreativeVenturesFineArt.com for more information and to see who we are. I can be reached at betsycraumer@comcast.net or creativeventures@comcast.net.