Many of my paintings depict ordinary human ideas and actions through extraordinary characters. I enjoy using bold color and patterns which serve as a foundation for the solitary, absurd and determined subjects I invent. I am attracted to the hard-edged, precise techniques found in pop art, graphic design, and comic art, which I employ to produce direct, smoothly painted canvasses. "Into the Spray" captures the moment we have when water is the catalyst which moves us beyond the ordinary to exceptional sparks of creativity we have in places like a shower. Here, we become witness to our own wealth of ideas and creative connections. A true Eureka moment and something I personally look forward to everyday. "The Narcissist" portrays a character witnessing the world through a very narrow perspective. Their egoic viewpoint is apparent right down to their cufflinks of miniature self portraits. The painting represents a self centered witnessing the world; it also represents my own witnessing of this limited human trait and an attempt to satirize it. "The Buzz of Discontent" is a self portrait that speaks to the unsettled experience of witnessing the 2016 presidential election. I was so assaulted by the actions of this particular elected candidate, that it caused me to be on high alert for four years while he was in office. I witnessed a terrible feeling of discomfort and felt my moral compass was being attacked. The highly repetitive horizontal linework throughout the painting, the oversized grimace and the frantic eyes with three sets of pupils all illustrate an emotional alarm. As a panacea to this stress, I painted a pattern on the character's clothing which is reminiscent of the Finnish textile firm Marimekko, a company known for its positive, uplifting patterns.

Medium & Dimensions: acrylic on canvas; 40" x 30" x 1 3/8"

about the artist

Elyse Harrison has been exhibiting her art since the mid 1970’s in the Washington, DC area. Her work includes paintings, mixed media sculptures and commercially commissioned site-specific murals. She has received numerous awards and grants throughout the years and maintains an active studio and a micro gallery in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. She was the owner-operator of Gallery Neptune, a regional contemporary gallery from 2003-2010, and the owner-operator of Studio Neptune, an art education program for children from 1990-2017, also located in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. Her art has been reviewed in The Washington Post, The Gazette Newspapers, Modernism Magazine and The Baltimore City Paper.



next up...

Sara Ussher