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Weird Home Philadelphia

elizabeth levesque paintings in progress

Another year, another move. I am just a day away from moving from Asheville, NC back to Pennsylvania, and in the midst of a snow storm no less. So what I really mean, is that I hope I am a day away from moving. I’m already delayed by several. Am I too old for snow now? I despise winter, and here I am moving further north. When younger I hated the heat of summer, but now I crave hot moonlit walks and feeling coated in a thin layer of sweat.

I’ll miss the hills, the river, the people I’ve met here and small town character of western North Carolina, but I’m also ready to leave. I’ve lived and learned a lot in just under three years. I’ve broken my own heart, rode love to tops of mountains and sunk into the deepest and darkest parts of my own insides. It’s time to go. It’s time to get going.

Asheville has changed me in some silly ways. I am now the type of woman who makes her own deodorant and skincare products. I wash my hair less often. I do my best to eat simple raw fruit and vegetables and now have a taste for duck meat. I’ll try to garden once I’ve nested and resist keeping my own chickens. I’m bringing some hippy back with me to Pennsylvania. I’m happy about these changes, but they still amuse me.

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I’m ready to head home, and Philadelphia will always represent home to me, or it will till I put out more permanent roots of my own.

I’ve been accepted to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art this coming Fall. I’m excited and terrified! Half of my tuition has been covered by scholarships, so now I am on the hunt for more funding.

Museums, galleries, weird summer smells, pot holes, legit food and greasy concrete. I want it all back.

I will still be working long distance for artist and illustrator John Nebraska and looking for other works as well once I am settled in. If you have any tips I am eager to hear them.

I’ve also been working on a new batch of paintings, this time with alizarin crimson underpaintings. I can’t seem to keep myself interested in using more traditional colors. I’m not sure how successful they will be, but painting over intense underpaintings teaches me a lot about how colors interact with each other.

quinacridoneunderpainting_elizabethlevesque

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Artwork Forever Homes, in the Wild

My painting, Forever, in it's forever home.

Part of what is satisfying about painting for me is that I eventually part with my work. The idea of my paintings existing as an important part of another’s home is very comforting. Will it become an heirloom? Will it end up at a thrift store? Whatever the outcome, that is okay. They go on adventures without me.

I once had two paintings, my Slumber Party Sibyls, that lingered much too long with me. I wasn’t terribly happy with them, but also couldn’t make myself throw them away.

As a solution, one summer night I walked them to downtown Asheville and hung them from a tree in Pritchard Park.

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And one of my paintings resting peacefully amongst other artwork in the home of Carl Medley, another creative artist.

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Plenilune

I am the moon.
I have no inner light.

Pale and cold,
pouring, dripping, pooling in the night.

Reflecting a pale version of a star,
shining bright.

Forever waning,
gliding, floating, looming silent satellite.

I am the moon,
I have no inner light.

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Treasures – Art Studio Moments

journal_ontheeasel

A lot has changed in a few short months. The most obvious change may be that my website is redesigned and now has an integrated store where my paintings can be purchased. I feel very good about it. It was time to clean things up. I’m learning more about wordpress, SEO and optimizing art portfolio sites, which leads me to the other changes.

I no longer work for Whole Foods Market as a store artist. I spent over two years there. When I moved to Asheville I knew very few people here. When I landed the job as a designer and chalk artist I didn’t just gain a job. I also gained a community. My store was nestled right up against downtown and in a busy neighborhood. I learned about my new city by working there, getting to know regulars and spending time with my coworkers. Change is good, but I am glad I spent that time there. It helped me create a home.

I am now spending more time in my art studio, writing articles, starting up a local sketch group and freelancing in social media marketing. I am helping other artists build an online presence, find new audiences and increase their sales. It’s pretty much what I already used to do for Jason quietly behind the scenes. It’s been fun. I like it. I want to continue this kind of work. I learn something new everyday to help others and myself.

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I’ve updated my portfolio with the help of a good friend with a good camera. If you check out the fine art section you will see photos of paintings I have completed the past two years. It feels good to share them. I like being able to look back on them and know that I’ve been moving in a direction this whole time of transition, heart ache and adventure.

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Ms. Ethel Levesque, my old lady calico, has joined me and Cat Chaplin in my little apartment. I am now a single woman with two cats. I’m okay with that. They are good company. I think the worst thing about it is Ethel has taught Chaplin how to open cabinets. He now paws them open and bangs the doors in protest if I am not providing him the kind of attention he wants and when he wants it.

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I’m learning how to manage my time to be more productive. It’s a weird thing to have time to work in my studio. I think it bewildered me at first, but now I’ve accepted my new circumstances and have started a new body of work! I am not the artist I want to be, perhaps I never will be. I am a firm believer that if you are always satisfied with the quality of your work, that might mean you have stagnated and are not progressing. That said, I am excited! I feel that I’ve broken some of my own barriers. I’m applying the lessons I’ve learned and am getting to watch myself create work a few steps closer to what I want it to be.

I’m not afraid of my art studio anymore. Does that sound weird? Has anyone else been afraid of being alone with their work?

Now that winter is here I find my work reflecting the cold decay of outside. I’ve gathered my little forest trash and treasures around me, all brown an dry and brittle, to tell new stories.

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Woolworth Walk – Asheville Art

I had a hometown friend visiting me in Asheville last week. Even though I was working everyday I did my best to show him around town. One of the spots I walked him through was Woolworth Walk, the art and craft gallery/old fashioned soda fountain. I’m guilty of speed browsing these type of group galleries, but this time, for the first time probably, two artists’ work grabbed a hold of my short attention span.

First there was John Nebraska’s gallery space. I don’t think I have it in me to wax poetic about his work. To put it simply, it made me happy. I wasn’t sure of his methods or medium, but after looking him up online, it appears he is a commercial illustrator. His commissioned work seems to be digital. His fine art, the pieces I was looking at, are a mix of acrylic paints, pastels, collage, and probably more.

Part of the joy of finding Asheville¬†art I love is knowing that the person who created it is part of the small world I’m living in. They are walking about, thinking about creating their pictures, anonymously, quietly. I don’t know them, but they are puttering around town beside me.


And then pottery, for the first time ever, caught my eye. I don’t mean I don’t like or respect pottery. I absolutely do, but it’s not what usually pulls me. As a painter, I think I naturally enjoy looking at and inspecting the flat.

The cups and plates of Mud Stuffing Pottery really amused me. I think it was the clean shapes and whiteness, layered with what I assume is a collage and glaze type technique of found images. There are layers to the simplicity.



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