Artist Elsie Kay Harris

Born in Appalachia I have always felt connected to the land. And have loved being in the mountains, sitting on the rocks and just feeling the presence of the land, the air, the water. It tends to give a comforting aspect to my life where I find both joy and serenity.

Carrying a small note pad and pencil around with me most of the time, I will briefly sketch a site whenever I spot one that draws me to it. It can be anywhere, anytime. I have many, many of these little renderings. All my work comes from these brief on site pencil sketches.

After choosing a drawing, I begin with sketching the shapes on canvas with charcoal. This is where I will ‘play’ with the forms, embellishing or contracting or changing the initial rendering altogether. This is where I also begin the use of color to convey an intensity of feeling I experienced when first sketching the site.

It is that initial feeling I first experienced that I want to convey in the final painting. Color and shape change as the painting takes on it’s own life, still related to the pencil rendering but now as a product of it’s own. For me it is a magical intimacy - a spiritual consciousness - one with nature - that is my message in the work.