A Midsummer Day's Dream 2018 by Elizabeth Nelson
Waterwheel 1 2018 by Elizabeth Nelson

Elizabeth Nelson

I paint and draw on site in the landscape, mostly in the Castlemaine region.

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About me

My recent work has been made at a favourite spot in the Nuggetty Hills, and also in my own garden. My recurrent themes are the bush and the garden. 

 I make watercolour and ink paintings on paper, to a large size. I also make drawings, and small paintings in oils on board and canvas. 

 My work features what is near to me. On site in the landscape, I position myself on the ground close to my subject. When making multi-sheet works on paper, I start with one sheet and then add sheets as the composition develops over time. When I begin I do not know, for sure, what format or size the work will take. I work intuitively in an improvisational way and compose the painting as I go. 

 My work is grounded in observation. Yet my response to the subject is also tempered by my response to the work as it evolves. The more the work develops, the more I respond to the painting/drawing itself. This process can involve many sessions at the painting site, usually over weeks, or even months for the largest of my works. All the while, back in the studio, I put out my work to review what I have done and consider my next steps. 

 My aim is to create monumental and theatrical scenes of nature. Each landscape element is like an individual actor on a stage playing its part in a kind of performance. I tend to paint the close-up forms of nature as life-size or larger than life because I want to invest the ‘ordinary’ with power and presence. 

 I am drawn to the idyllic serenity and beauty of the arcadian, the mysterious wild of the Romantic, and to the strange and disturbing quality of the surreal. All of these expressions, combined in various ways, can play a role in my work. And throughout all my work I am seeking to convey a sense of self-expression and freedom.


2005   PhD in History, University of Melbourne

1999   Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Melbourne

1998   Diploma of Visual Arts, RMIT

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