Monday, June 21, 2010

Portrait Profile: Eli Halpin

This Monday is so summer!

On one very hot day a couple of weeks ago I went to visit artist Eli Halpin at her home/studio. She will be the first subject in the new series of paintings that I'll be working on this summer. With this new series, I want to give my viewers a little sneak peek at the lives of the people who I paint. I tend to tell you about some of my subjects (Elena Johnston and Hilton Carter interviews, for example), but now I want to tell you about e'ry body.


I met Eli last December when were both showing art at the City Paper sponsored event, Illuminate. She had a room full of animal and nature paintings that were fun and whimsical...not to mention full of sparkle. You know I like that. I also like to meet/brain-pick artists who have figured out how to support themselves on their art alone. That's hot.


Originally from Alaska, Eli relocated to Baltimore a few years ago after a long residency in Portland, Oregon.


Eli's uses recycled wood from old doors (the stack above has already been prepped for painting) as her canvas.


Sometimes the vintage doors have really cool details like this that are left intact as part of the piece.


After arranging her source materials (which have been combinations of live models, photographs, and found images,) Eli uses charcoal to do a quick sketch of the painting on her primed canvas. I love how Egon Schiele the piece looks at this stage.


While oil paint is the primary medium in the paintings, Eli uses a combination of media ranging from house paint to gold leaf.


The coi fish paintings are currently being exhibited at 13.5% Wine Bar in Hampden.



Eli is also showing new paintings at Metropolitan Coffeehouse and Wine Bar in Federal Hill.



Eli's paintings are all over the house. The space reflects her quirky/cute style through her paintings as well as the variety of brightly colored walls.



Love the yellow to pink.



For more information on Eli, her paintings, and up-coming exhibits click HERE. Thanks again, Eli, for letting me sneak a peak into your space! I look forward to starting your portrait this week.

Stay tuned for more portrait profiles, photos from the Holly Golightly show @ Metro Gallery and other good stuff. I wish I could say that I'll be spending the first day of summer lazing by the pool, but I have drawing to do!

Talk soon,


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Ashira said...

We have 5 (yes, FIVE) of Eli's wonderful paintings in our home. We bought our first about 3 years ago at an Illuminate event and were instantly hooked on her style. Her paintings just make you feel good. I honestly don't know which of the ones we own is my favorite... Glad to see you post this blog Fitz :) Love you Eli! Ashira

ptownmommaloo said...

Oh' Sweet Eli...Portland misses you! Our family recently moved from a great big traditional Portland house to a tiny loft and the one thing that everyone agreed should NOT go into storage were our Eli paintings, there is one on every wall! We love and miss you, Eli!
The Elliott clan
(Michelle, Cooper, Sawyer and Sutton)