Elizabeth Wallace

I love drawing and painting. The act of painting helps me understand myself and the complexity of life more deeply. After having spent thousands of hours observing and depicting form, my hand acts below the level of consciousness as I paint.

I look to the natural world for my inspiration as an artist and paint images of wildlife and native flora encountered while hiking, swimming and gardening. I use oils outdoors and work with pastels in my studio. When creating, I explore various possibilities while thinking, “What if I try this? Now this, then this.” Each brushstroke combines to create a material thing that eventually looks back at me. The resulting image almost always teaches me something about myself, my life and interactions with others.

I originally earned a BA degree from the University of Iowa. I later studied fine art drawing and painting at the Laguna College of Art and Design. While there, I earned scholarships and was awarded Best of Fine Arts for my award-winning, large scale pastel tricycle series. In 2007, the President of Virginia Tech commissioned me to draw a set of 32 portraits of faculty and students for the college’s permanent collection. Senior CBS reporter Joe Dashiell came to my studio in 2014 to interview me about the collection and film me as I worked.

I have shown my work nationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions. In early summer 2017, I completed a solo show titled “Original Skin: Botanical Resilience in a Changing Climate” featuring botanical portraits of the prickly pear cactus at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.