I spent the first half of my life in Baltimore, Maryland. As a child, I loved being outdoors, hanging out under the forsythia. It felt magical. When I began to study art and took my first plein air class, I knew I had found my path. I paint outdoors in the elements, for me it’s the only way. I’m a purist about it- no photographs, no touching up in the studio. I paint what I see while I’m on-site. The challenge is to capture the colors in the hour or so before the light shifts. I don’t change what is there. Well, once in a blue moon I may leave something out. Each of my paintings is an homage to a particular place. I like the intimacy of a small painting. The image draws the viewer in. Small paintings are completed quickly and that demands an honesty to get it “just right.” A small painting is the first step in exploring a view. Maybe I will do more there. I fall in love with some places and I’ll go on to make a number of different paintings, exploring compositions and trying different sizes. I like to work large as well. Sometimes a place just demands to be big. With large work, I can add more complexity, have the time to see and put down the subtleties. A large painting is an exploration of the essence of the landscape viewed over a number of days, even years. Whenever I am painting, I feel the nature spirits are helping me out. I think there is something radical about painting the land. I paint to communicate the beauty and magic of our island. I hope to honor the earth.
-Elizabeth Lockhart Taft
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