Elaine Dalcher

In my paintings, I focus on authentic subjects from my immediate surroundings, concentrating particularly on nature and the landscape, the interior and the still life.

My process begins with direct observation: I often work outdoors on location or from a still life in the studio. I render initial observations in a value-based series of drawings; through these, I seek to understand the space and emphasis of the composition. I then draw my subject until it becomes a comfortable part of my visual language.

Once I have achieved this level of familiarity, I translate the composition onto a canvas that has been undercoated with a ground – sometimes a traditional raw umber or earth green, but more commonly a lively, but toned down color: dark red, deep orange, yellow ochre, blue violet or yellow green. My palette is bright and vivid, a collection of colors, complements, values and intensities that ranges across the spectrum. I start with the main subject and work outward to the edges of the canvas. Following this, I rework the image until I am satisfied.

A recurring feature in my art is the simplified composition, one that relies upon close-up perspective, regardless of content. This reflects the way I see things in my world: clearly, directly, and concisely. Because I am not concerned with elaborate detail, I am able to incorporate expressive brushwork and bold finger-painting in a way that would otherwise not be possible. My overarching goal is to create a balanced piece in which subject, composition, brushwork, and color are blended harmoniously.