Today we’d like to introduce you to Elaine St Louis.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Elaine. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been coloring, drawing and painting all of my life. I started small. Then, I had an early realization of how much fun BIG could be. Theatrical scenery caught my interest, and the natural progression was to create custom wall murals. After attending the Art Institute of Colorado, I enjoyed a successful career in publishing as an art director and eventually photo stylist. Bird nests have been a subtle visual theme throughout my life and recently revealed in a bold new vision, in a grand scale. I work out of my “treehouse” studio in Platt Park, Denver. By layering polymer glazes creating a chiaroscuro effect, I interpret the ephemeral nests in giant scale, giving the viewer a bold perspective with which to emotionally connect with the natural delicacy of their construction.
At a fundamental level, my paintings of bird nests address relationships. They are about our relationship with the natural world, but they also speak to the subtle relational currents between people or families, often evoking deep and unexpectedly unearthed emotions.
I am passionate about the way the unexpected scale of these paintings—monumental images of something so small and plain—changes the viewer’s relationship to the subject. It’s partially about revealing unseen details, but at this scale, it is difficult not to be mesmerized by the movement. The creation of this effect and the slow development of luminosity through layering glazes are both a project of working my way concentrically around the piece in much the same way as the original avian architect.
There are a kinship and a beauty in this emotional connection to the process of building and application. In a sense, I experience this as a working prayer, and sometimes a meditation. I often make these nests for someone specific, and through prayer and creation, they end up woven into the piece. I enjoy both the outward reach—the way viewers see their individual journey, emotional growth, or transformation reflected back—and the inward, in the sense that this process is also for my understanding, my relationships, and my spirit.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’ve been honored to have been invited to show my work at a variety of venues and have been so very blessed by the generosity of friends, associates and movers in the art and design communities.
We’d love to hear more about your art.
Currently, I am developing and expanding my oeuvre in fine art painting, as well as photo-styling for professional home interiors shoots.
The subject of bird nests never tires me, as they are all so very different! I absolutely love working with collectors to realize their perfect nest painting by commission. I’m always interested in hearing an individual’s or family’s story and how a nest speaks to their life experience. Painting is a real gift and I attempt to grow daily in my skill and knowledge.
I also enjoy continued work as a photo stylist for shelter publications, and I truly enjoy the synergy of working with photographers to capture a moment in time and document lovely interiors. I’m a freelance Regional Field Editor for Meredith Corporation, (Better Homes & Gardens, Magnolia Journal, Traditional Home, etc.) and also work independently with architects, interior designers and other local and national publications.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
If I can connect through my nest paintings; to open someone’s heart to a place in their own history, their joys or sorrows, their spiritual journey; to create a space of acceptance and peace in taking a nest home and living with it daily, these things speak to me of success.
- Website: www.ElaineStLouis.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: ejstlouis
- Facebook: Elaine St Louis Art
- Twitter: @ElaineJStLouis
David Patterson, Emily Minton Redfield.
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