“I wanted to create artwork that was more detached from reality and not so literal. I wanted to paint from my own memories and experiences.”
Elizabeth Durels is an artist, stylist and graphic designer whose expansive career has included magazine publishing, video production, branding, marketing, and illustration. But it’s her talent for her abstract representations of natural environments through painting that she has chosen to pursue.
A visual learner by nature, Elizabeth first found photography to be a natural form of communication from a young age. Always interested in her mother's passion for painting watercolor, she first painted in high school and later while pursuing her degree in poetry and photography at Colorado State University, but struggled with creating the literal interpretations she had explored through the photographic medium.
It was her years of exposure to creative processes working in New York for Martha Stewart Living, surrounded by renowned photographers, stylists and designers, that gave Elizabeth the desire to continue her visual education.
This prompted her to return to school at the Art institute of Vancouver for Graphic Design where painting again became a part of her design process, but this time she didn’t find the need to ground it in reality and embraced a more abstract style to her work.
Loving the freedom and movement of watercolor, Elizabeth first explored mix media illustrations, watercolor backgrounds, flowers and landscapes. As she began working on large scale pieces, however, controlling the paint became difficult and the paper would warp which became a frustration. That’s when she discovered liquid acrylics.
The combination of the fluid paint but stability of working on canvas, allowed for a more abstract approach to painting. Inspired by the visual serenity of the Pacific Northwest, Elizabeth began painting landscapes through this new medium.
Having also lived in London, Singapore, and Colorado, along with travel through much of the US and Asia, Elizabeth describes her paintings as being an amalgamation of landscapes, memories and dreams.
Her hope is for her artwork to elicit an emotional response in the viewer as they too relive a fond memory of an environment through her paintings.
Elizabeth creates out of her studio in Vancouver, Canada.
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