Elizabeth Ahlem Clark
I make watercolor and mixed media paintings of homes, everyday objects, and outdoor scenes. Simply put, I paint life and the land. My art is for those who want to honor and remember a special time or place. It’s also for the person who finds beauty and importance in the smaller details of commonplace things- how the veins in a leaf follow a particular pattern, the way the laundry sways as it dries on a clothesline, how the light from a window at night glows on the snow outside.
My current creative process is intentionally simple: get outdoors, get inspired, and paint. I’ll either begin a painting on site to continue later in my studio, or I’ll take photos if the situation isn’t ideal for working outside. I especially love when I can put this process to use in creating commissioned pieces for others.
“I first starting taking photos (in abundance) during the summer I spent in Alaska. No coincidence it’s also where I really began to appreciate hiking on my own and learning to slow down and just be in a place. I like to sit, stand, wander, explore and take the time to just be… then see what captures my eye and my senses about the place and do my best to capture that moment and that feeling in my photos.
Water droplets, rocks, leaves, trees through the fog, a petal on a flower, the pink highlight on a cloud – I like to get up close and focus on the simple beauty of the places I find myself. For me it’s often less about the image and more about the camera as my tool to slow down, look close and appreciate the magic of that specific place or day. I enjoy being creative with presentation and am often drawn to the beauty of wood. I took this opportunity to combine the two and had my photos printed directly on wood though WoodSnap, a US company with a priority on sustainability.”
Find more images and captured moments at: Myplaceintheworld.net
“The outside world has always been my inspiration – it’s fluid and changeable, the light natural, the shadows real. I’m drawn to the small details our busy lives often pass by without notice, and all my pictures speak to something deeper and more profound within me.
Lately I have been using ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) to give a more impressionistic or abstract look to what I am shooting. It feels more creative and is pleasing to my eye and sensibility.”
“This particular bird series is my most recent collection, which combines a bit of all my talents. Having painted interior design and murals for years, I am strongly influenced by the abstract texture of a faux finish or wall treatment, but I juxtapose that with a highly detailed image of a colorful bird, some realistic others not so much. These birds will not be found in nature, but are recognizable as having an earthly quality with a layer of fantasy.”
“Color draws my eye like a bee to honey! Others may be caught by line or pattern but, first, I see color.”
After moving from Canada to Bellingham in 1999 I studied under Bellingham artists/illustrator Mary Greg-Byrne for several years while she nurtured my techniques for the oft-difficult watercolors. I have restricted myself to transparent watercolors even though they often have a mind of their own because I love how the light reflects through the color and gives the painting more life. As much as I’m drawn by color, light plays a major part in my work so reflections are particularly attractive to me.
Transparent watercolor seems to speak my language. I hope others can ‘hear’ it too.