Featured Artist Elisabeth Fitzhugh

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Artist Elisabeth Fitzhugh creates colorful and detailed collages using regional and cultural imagery. View more of her portfolio by visiting her website.

 

“Crow Sisters” collage, 8″ x 10″

 

I have spent much of my artist life in three dimensions, altering and working in clay and mixed-media assemblage, but always on my palette was collage. Some years ago, I downsized to an apartment with limited space. This change in my physical environment led to digital collage as my main medium.

 

small town vintage collage

“Railroad Avenue, Orange, Virginia” collage, 8″ x 10″

 

Retro and vintage images draw my attention. I like to populate my pieces with outliers, the they and them; unique personas. I amplify and alter my images, and like to include incongruous elements and juxtapositions.

 

collage of guardians of a pathway

“Crossroads Guardian” collage, 8″ x 10″

 

It seems that I have two styles of working; the inner driven and the inspired by imagery. Naturally, these styles often overlap. The inner driven pieces are those I use to express or understand deeper things in my life, such as a series I did on my breast cancer, from mammogram to surgery and then radiation.

 

collage art about breast cancer

“Breast Cancer Series 3 Not Radioactive-Radiation Therapy” collage, 8″ x 10″

 

The image driven collages evolve from just that—an image that catches my eye, or my own photographs of places. I have a series I call Anonymous Content collages. They are drawn from an attraction to a single image with the collage emerging from that with no thematic anchor, per se.

 

vintage collage by artist Elisabeth Fitzhugh

“Anonymous Content 2″ collage, 8” x 10

 

I am drawn to certain types of images as the incongruous element and use them often—shoes, food, such as pie or donuts, cups and saucers. These images just speak to me visually. I enjoy how, although they are not part of the theme of the collage, they coalesce into a overall image that resonates with me.

 

Donut collage by Elisabeth Fitzhugh

“Dollar General Route 24, Cedar Key Florida” collage, 8″ x 10″

 

On the other hand, I often use images that are symbolic to me, like totemic crows. Or, individuals whose lives and work speak me, like Frida Kahlo, Patti Smith or Imogen Cunningham. I also use avatars I created to represent myself in collages, noted by their curly hair.

 

art collage featuring singer Patti Smith

“Patti Smith in Blue” collage, 8″ x 10″

 

Our downsizing allowed more travel. I began what I refer to as my Regional Collages. I like to use my photos of the architecture of an area as the anchor of the collage, from the stately Victorians of Savannah to the funky shops of West Asheville, North Carolina to every day places, like the Dollar General in Cedar Key, Florida. After our daily walkabouts through town, I’d spend many an afternoon seeing where my photos take me. I feel a certain creative element is added by doing collage where I am staying.

 

colorful regional collage about Waynesboro, VA

“Kaiya of Waynesboro” collage, 8″ x 10″

 

The Shenandoah Valley, where I live, is always inspiring me. The lovely homes to the local car wash and ice cream stand and are also well represented in my Regional Collages. Although I work mostly by myself, I have a wonderful artsy best buddy, Deb Booth. I am also a member of the Shenandoah Valley Art Center, the vibrant heart of the art community in Waynesboro, Virginia.

 

restaurant/food collage by Elisabeth Fitzhugh

“Cuban Window Cafe, Savannah” collage, 8″ x 10″

 

I post my work on Facebook and Instagram, but get the most satisfaction through my blog, where I enjoy sharing the elements that inform my work.

 

Elisabeth Fitzhugh invites you to follow on Facebook, Instagram and her blog.

 

 

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