Friday, February 25, 2011

Creative Catalyst Productions

Featured Artist Interview
Creative Catalyst Productions, producers of art instructional DVDs, have asked me to be featured on their blog on March 9. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have been chosen to be highlighted on this amazingly professional blog/website! I have purchased their Carrie Burns Brown workshop as a streaming video on their sister site and really enjoyed the INSTANT gratification streaming video offers. The video was top quality with multiple camera angles and call-out lists of useful information.

In addition to offering video workshops online and on DVD media, CCP also offers a paid listing service on their site for artists teaching workshops around the country, you can look at their schedule here

I have been interviewed by Kelly Powers. Kelly works with artists to develop their DVDs, directs video shoots, and edits, a duty she shares with her husband Zach. CCP is a family business, she also works with her parents Lynn and Jim Powers.

After Kelly interviewed me, I asked her what she thought about being featured on MY very professional blog :) Kelly was totally open to the idea of being interviewed about working in the art industry and even sharing some of her own work here on Paper Paintings.

Look for my two part Kelly Powers interview on March 9th!

Jami Childers Does it AGAIN!

©Jami Childers

You might remember that I commissioned Jami Childers to paint portraits of my kids a few months ago. Well my kids came out so FANTASTIC that I just had to ask her to paint my husband and I to hang with them on my fireplace.

Yesterday I unwrapped the paintings to be amazed and thrilled yet again! Jami had sent me photos in progress and of the finished product, but nothing compares to the original art.

Portraits make amazing gifts, especially for the person that has everything. Jami has all the prices and information on her website.

The Anne Marie

sketch/underpainting in progress for The Anne Marie

This week I got started on my sketch and underpainting for The Anne Marie by Israel Parker. Israel is very excited about seeing the in process photos of my collage work for the cover of his book and so I thought I'd share them here as well.

My first step is a detailed sketch on wood panel. The Home Depot did not have very good quality birch panel the last time I went, so I opted for red oak panel. The grain and striation in the oak is much more prominent than the birch and I'm not sure if I'm going to like it or not. On this piece for the book cover, I do not plan on leaving much grain showing through. And by the way, the guys at Home Depot often wonder why I'm so picky about my building materials and all the small sizes I have them cut it down to for me!

Israel has sent me a manuscript which I plan on reading this weekend so that I can put some of his words to work in the portrait of Atticus on the cover.

Stay tuned for more in process steps. This is a very exciting project for me as the book will be available on and you never know who will read it and see it! PLUS working with Israel on his very first book is exciting, I love supporting other artists in their endeavors.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Anne Marie

Israel Parker and his wife Melanie

Getting to know Israel Parker
Israel Parker wrote The Anne Marie and has asked me to create the cover. On Friday night I read the first two chapters of this book to help me get a feel for the story. Since the book is not published yet I cannot share any of it with you but to say this, it's really good stuff!

Here is a snippet that Israel shares on the top of his blog: 
Newfoundlands are considered to be one of the most loyal breed of dogs. It is said that once one of the giant water-dogs bonds with a human, they can never bond with another. Atticus Stockton is a Newfoundland who loses his precious master in the sinking of a fishing boat off of Maine's rocky coast. Now alone, Atticus finds that he is unwanted, and as the big dog struggles to find a new home he is also plagued with the dreams from his once perfect world. Can he find a home, and if he does can he ever love another human again?

Israel has been in the Coast Guard for 12 years. Nine of those years he spent as a hellicopter rescue swimmer. He was stationed in New Orleans from 2004-2009. He actually postponed his wedding in Mobile AL on the weekend that Katrina hit so that he could jump on a helicopter and fly into that darkened city in the middle of the night and be a bit of light for the victims of that terrible tragedy.

Israel told me that his time as a swimmer changed his perspective on life. He said that it was during that time that he realized he wanted to live his own life to the fullest. I think that someday you may hear more from this author about his experiences in New Orleans as a rescue swimmer.

And speaking of rescue swimmers, Newfoundlands (our main character of The Anne Marie and our cover model) are known for their centuries of service rescuing people from drowning! 

As you can imagine, Israel was very moved by my own experiences with tragedy as told in my inspirational Growing Bolder Video

Friday, February 18, 2011

Southern Living In Style

©Southern Living Magazine

Excited to share that Cow Art and More and my artwork are included in the March 2011 issue of Southern Living magazine in their decorating "Rodeo Chic in Style" section!

Cow Art and More features giclée prints on demand of several of my cow and barnyard images. Southern Living found my art through their blog and asked us to be a part of this issue!

We are very excited about selling prints of this cow image (which is incorrectly titled in the publication, this image is actually called "Lazy Afternoon.") The original is 20x24, framed in reclaimed Kentucky barn wood and available for purchase through the Grand Bohemian Gallery in St. Augustine, FL

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Paper Paintings Book Cover Art

Israel Parker is Closet Independent Writer

A couple of days ago I received an email from Israel Parker. He said that he happenned upon my work when he accidentally clicked "next blog" from the top of his own blog and there I was featured on Jessica Carter's blog (thank you Jessica!) from when she took a collage workshop with me. (Jessica was both of my kid's kindergarten teacher and she happened upon my artwork while flipping through Cloth, Paper Scissors Magazine!)

Talk about serendipity!

Israel said that when he happened upon my work, he knew it was just what he wanted for the cover of his book, especially since one of the characters in the book is a painter. The book is a story about a Newfoundland who loses his precious master in the sinking of a fishing boat off the coast of Maine. You remember that I am from New England and have been to visit Maine quite a few times in my youth, even spent a week in a fishing village one summer with my family!

Israel is self publishing his first book and the title is The Anne Marie you can read a snippet of it on his blog.

I am excited about working with an up and coming writer on his first book. I am happy that it will combine both my fine art and graphic design skills as I have to keep in mind incorporating the title of the book and the name of the author along with the artwork for the 6x9 cover.

 I'll let you know more about the book and the cover as we progress

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Collaboration for Celebrations Gallery

©Robin Maria Pedrero, stage two

Robin Maria Pedrero and I have embarked on yet another collaboration! I'm very excited because last time for "Chalk, Paper, Scissors" we both created the same artwork image in our own style and medium and they were exhibited side-by-side. We were also in a two-woman show at Seminole State College Fine Art Gallery. For the SSC show we produced a catalogue that is still available on

Robin and I are great friends and we are both from New England. Robin introduced my work to the folks at Celebrations Gallery in Pomfret Center, CT and the rest was history. Now, not only are we both represented by this lovely gallery, but we are ready to jump in and participate in their call for artists to create a collaborative art project!

Over a Greek lunch, we decided that we would each start a piece in our own style on a 18x24 cradled birch panel, and then we would swap and finish each other's work. Robin's stage two is so beautiful that I'm afraid to touch it!

©Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson, stage one

Here is my stage one, it's cake recipes glued down to the wood panel which was primed with clear acrylic polymer. This is a different way of starting off for me, I'm experimenting with our project. I plan to put some brown stain over this to tone down the papers, prime it again with clear gesso to give it tooth, and then sketch a birthday cake on top of the recipes. Robin and I once had mirror images of cupcakes in our "Chalk, Paper, Scissors" show,  but this takes the cake.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Liberty Pines Academy

Top: Student Collage Work
Bottom: Meet The Artist, Slide Presentation, Liberty Pines Academy PTO

Sherri Edens sent me a Facebook message a few days ago and showed me a photo of a second grade student's collage that she said was inspired by my work! She then proceeded to tell me that the PTO at Liberty Pines Academy put together a presentation for their students all about me and my artwork! check out the great company I am with in the Liberty Pines Meet The Artist Program

Now if you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I volunteer monthly at the elementary school behind my house in a PTA sponsored program called Art See. In this program, we present famous artists and a project that reinforces their style to grades K-5. I have been a presenter and a coordinator of this program for seven years. I also am a co-chair of the PTA Reflections Art, Video, Dance, Music, and Literature annual student contest with end-of-year art show, at the same school. 

I LOVE to inspire kids in art. This year I presented my work and taught collage to six fifth grade classes and it's a wonderful feeling to teach something to children and watch them take it and run with it. I have said this before, and I can't say it enough... if it were not for my public high school art teacher, I would have never gone to college for art. My teacher inspired me to pursue a career in art and helped me put together a portfolio that got me accepted into the Fine Art program at Syracuse University. Without her encouragement I would not be where I am today.

Take a moment to look at the presentation that Sherri Edens and her co-volunteers put together to show the children about my life, my work, my inspiration and my style: 

I can't tell you how FLATTERED I am to be featured in this program. It was a complete surprise to me! Thank you Sherri for all you do in presenting art to children and thank you for including me in your Meet The Artist program.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Landfill Art Project

"All American Diner" ©2011 St.Hilaire Nelson

My hubcap project is finally complete! In addition to the old hubcap that Ken from Landfill Art sent me, I also purchased vintage silverware on eBay to further the diner feel. I also repurposed some old Scrabble tiles and much of the papers used in the collage are found papers.

The gingham blue and white background was inspired by the uniforms of the actresses in the film "The Waitress" which is one of my all time favorites and was behind much of the inspiration on the project.

I sent Ken from Landfill Art a photo of my piece this week and told him it was on the way and his response was "Elizabeth, your art project is just super!" That made me feel great, since he's already got an amazing gallery of hubcaps on his website.

My husband had to come to the rescue when it came to drilling holes in both the hubcap and the silverware. My skills with power tools are lacking, I made it through three spoons, but then the drill bit started jumping around and I could not get any more to work. Doug broke several bits drilling through the knife blades, he informed me that they are stainless steel and quite resilient! You can see the whole gallery of in-progress images on my Facebook Fan Page photo album.

Doug is also the photographer of all my artwork, 2-D and 3-D, I'd never have such a nice presentation without his help. He shot this photo on a nice black background so as to highlight the shiny silver. My mother was in town while I worked on this, she was the one who suggested I polish the silver so that it would look better!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

For The Birds

Exotic Bird Head Series for reproduction by Pier One Imports

These Paper Paintings were created for reproduction by Pier One Imports. I experimented with some splattered, scratched, painted backgrounds that would allow the collage technique to be as much the focus as the subject matter. I have been using dripping, white gesso mixed with fluid acrylic, and Derwent InkTense pencils on these backgrounds.

If you are interested in owning a signed original from the Exotic Bird Series (which may be available in giclée reproduction nationwide) on 10x12 wood panel, unframed, for $250 email me and I'll ship yours out today!

Original artwork makes a great gift, I will sign a dedication on the back if you like.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Orange TV

United Arts pARTicipate program on Orange County Government TV in Orlando, FL
click here to view my interview on blubrry

Many thanks to Emma Krutch for inviting me to be the featured artist and Cory Warren for doing such a great job hosting the show. pARTicipate is yet another way United Arts of Central Florida brings art and culture to the Central Florida community.

If you remember, I also received a Professional Development Grant from United Arts for my solo show at Maitland Art Center in 2010. I appreciate all UA have done for me in helping me to grow as a professional artist. You are eligible for a Professional Development Grant once every three years and 2010 was my SECOND time qualifying. My first Professional Development Grant in 2006 helped to fund my very first solo exhibition in Jasper Indiana at the Jasper Art Center.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cherie's Progress

Me and the Birthday Girl, February 2, 2011

Today got out on the FL Turnpike in my smart car and made the 2+ hour trip to Vero Beach to visit Cherie for her birthday. Got stuck behind a couple of big HUGE trucks carrying citrus on route 60 in Vero and could not help but wonder how the ones on the bottom do not get totally crushed. Then I figured, they probably do since FL citrus is primarily for juice anyway....

Cherie has been home less than a week and they are still trying to work out a system for her care, but overall she seemed really well as did her sister and sister in law. I finally got to meet Milla (say mee-lah) the cat subject of many awesome portraits! She stepped on my iPhone and almost sent a text from the kitchen table.

Cherie's tracheotomy has been surgically closed and should be healed soon, hence the gauze you see at the base of her neck in this photo. Doesn't she just look great with her big smile and her new hair cut? She is in a temporary wheel chair here until her custom made ride is ready.

We spent the day eating, drinking tea, and talking -- just like the old days! We had a very nice visit, her sister Sue and sister in law Alison took advantage of my being there to run some errands and gather up some birthday surprises. The plan is that the family will have order-in Thai food tonight in celebration of Cherie's 43rd.

I'm was really touched at one point when Cherie choked back the tears to tell me that all the cards and letters she has received as a result of this blog have meant more to her than I could ever know. She said that she could never thank me (and all of you) enough for that. She told me that she was amazed at the ripple effect that I had caused, all over the world, by throwing in that stone and asking people to reach out to a stranger in need.

So thank you she says. from the bottom of her heart on her 43rd birthday.