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a non-profit gallery for the visual and performing arts promoting the understanding and awareness of contemporary art



Elizabeth Magness

"As an abstract artist, I have always held color paramount. I want the color to be immersive. I want to swim in the color, live in its expanse.† The relationships between colors, and increasingly, the way colors meet at the edge of shapes is incredibly important. Finding a balance across the whole field is a constant risk and challenge. I am continually inspired by the natural world and my surroundings. Summer yellow peaches, fuschia peonies, golden marigolds, the blues of water from crystal azure to a dark lake. When I mix colors, I like to reuse the same color base from one section and keep adding to it and remixing the paint. In this way, the colors on the canvas stay related and connected but intentionally not exact.† In my work, I also explore the infinite variations within select sections of color. With Rembrant and the Old Masters in mind, I gradually build up thin layers of pigmented glaze to create a glowing depth.†

As I've worked through this new series, Iíve become increasingly interested in shapes and the lines where shapes meet. Each paintingís structure and the shapes within are drawn from things that are unfiltered, uncontrived and organic. I take cracks in a sidewalk, lines from my young childrenís drawings, the spokes of fallen pine needles, the lines of pollen that remain after a heavy spring rain and reimagine them as ways to divide space on the canvas. They become vessels through which to examine color and a means to create an emotional landscape. In this process of transformation from life to canvas, the shapes become a puzzle to solve. I strive to find balance without symmetry and adjust the lines to achieve a harmony that coexists with imperfection.† Creating a solid structure allows extensive color play without muddying the impact.†

Often I sketch out an idea for a structure on paper and pair it with some color experiments to serve as a springboard. However, once I begin the canvas, it takes on a life of its own. Holding the initial kernel loosely and ultimately releasing it is key. From the first paint mixing and application, the painting develops as a plan immediately overtaken by a meditative process of discovery filled with surprises.

I want to create an absorbing encounter where someone can get lost in a swath of color, notice small variations, and witness the history of the work in the layers of paint. Additionally, most of my shapes appear to continue off the canvas. The viewer is thus deep inside the world of each work and is an explorer in the core of the idea.†

The work reflects an honest emotional experience. It is intentionally uplifting, but it must be with an earned joy, a hard won happiness. It reflects a personal journey that must return to optimism, though frequently difficult. The paintings themselves ultimately assist this journey because they serve as a reminder of beautiful possibilities and a capsule for hope and pleasure. Each work is a forged consonance amidst imperfection." -- Elizabeth Magness

'Pink Petals,' Acrylic on stretched canvas, 30x40in, by Elizabeth Magness

Pink Petals
Acrylic on stretched canvas

'Moon Portal,' Acrylic on stretched canvas, 30x40in, by Elizabeth Magness

Moon Portal
Acrylic on stretched canvas

'Blue Wings,' Acrylic on stretched canvas, 30x40in, by Elizabeth Magness

Blue Wings
Acrylic on stretched canvas

'Venice Beach Crystal Crown,' Acrylic on stretched canvas, 30x40in, by Elizabeth Magness

Venice Beach Crystal Crown
Acrylic on stretched canvas

'Gold Mountain,' Acrylic on canvas, 36x48in, by Elizabeth Magness

Gold Mountain
Acrylic on canvas

'Red Mountain Pink Sky,' Acrylic on canvas, 36x48in, by Elizabeth Magness

Red Mountain Pink Sky
Acrylic on canvas


Elizabeth Magness holds a BA from Columbia University where she studied painting, printmaking, photography and art history. She additionally has studied painting and drawing at Watkins College of Art in Nashville, TN and at the VMFA Studio School in Richmond, VA. Elizabeth loves travel, cooking and edible gardening. She resides and works in Richmond, VA.


Artspace is located at 2833-A Hathaway Rd., Richmond, VA 23225 in the Stratford Hills Shopping Center.
Gallery hours: Tuesday through Sunday, Noon to 4pm - Open to the Public
More information is available by email at: or call: (804) 232-6464.

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