ELIZABETH ST. HILAIRE NELSON
Nelson Creative, Inc
My love of collage started with a scrap box of mementos from my childhood that my father passed down to me a few years ago. Stuffing these tidbits into a box beneath my bed seemed very anticlimactic –– but what does one do with the original hospital bill for their birth and Mom’s nursing school graduation cards from 1967?
I decided to find a way to incorporate these papers, notes and snippets into a figurative collage “painting.”
This piece, Looking in on Jane (a portrait of my mother), won Best of Show at Orlando Visual Artists League (OVAL) in 2005 (and a second time in 2007 at the Women’s Caucus for Arts’ Matriarchs and Madonnas exhibit), plunging me head-first into a pool of possibility with collage.
My technique has evolved and changed as a result of experimentation with hand-painted, hand-made, and found papers, maps, magazines, and memorabilia. I draw inspiration from potential collage materials that I come across in my day-to-day; fortune cookies--, tea-bag tags and the kids’ homework included!
My work highlights the extraordinary within the ordinary, focusing on intense and vibrant colors combined with a sensibility of design. The collages incorporate a variety of materials that invite the viewer to look, and having looked, to linger.
Clare Zipperly of Fifth Avenue Art Gallery in Melbourne, FL judged her work Best of Show in 2007 and stated:
“Elizabeth uses paper much like a mosaic artist might use tiles in assembling a piece, or she may use layer upon layer of transparent papers to get the rich effect and colors she wants. Her work is simply a must see (up close).”
Recent accomplishments include advancing to the finals (six artists, nationwide) of the U.S. Olympic Committee Sport Art Competition in conjunction with the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Locally she was awarded Best of Show at the Women’s Caucus for Arts Matriarchs and Madonnas exhibit at the University Club in Winter Park, FL in 2007.
Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson, born and raised in New England, has lived in Central Florida for the past 17 years. She holds a B.F.A. in advertising design from Syracuse University, in Syracuse, New York. She is a member of the Florida Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art, and the National Collage Society.