About Elise

Art, in some form, has always ruled my world. As a teen, it was my sketchbook, an obsession with music and a secret desire to be an actress. Pregnant and married at 17, my focus on art waned temporarily. I had 3 children, Rusty, Lana and Al over the following 6 years.  During that time, I taught myself to make stained-glass panels. I loved creating new patterns and seeing the end result. I exhibited at the St. James Art Fair numerous years in the early 80s.

My focus on graphic design began after I became the sole supporter for my children following a divorce. In Jefferson Community College’s commercial art program, an instructor, Jack Smalley, asked me to do my internship at his ad agency, Smalley, David, Maguire & Associates. Being a small ad agency, it was a great place to get experience. By the time I left, I had real-world experience in all facets of the advertising world. I stayed for 8 years and was Senior Creative Director when I left to pursue a freelance career. From 1994 – 1996, I also taught Drawing for Advertising and other Commercial Art classes at JCC as a part-time instructor.

My freelance career began in 1995. In 2003, I joined a partnership, in life and business, with John Fitzgerald. To see our work together please check out our portfolio at www.fitzio.com

I had an ache to paint years prior to 2007, when I took up the brush. My focus has been portrait work. I don’t think I will ever tire of trying to capture and connect with someone through the physical mediums of oil paint, charcoal and pastels. The challenges are endless.

Preferring to paint from life, I joined the Mellwood Figurative Group. This group inspires and supports my artistic ventures through life-drawing sessions. A lot of the work I will share was done alongside other artists in the group. Like a sponge I work to soak up some of their creative energy. The group was started by Katie Burke. She facilitates life drawing sessions on Monday and Thursday, and organizes workshops for the group. I recently began facilitating a portrait session on Saturdays for the Mellwood Figurative Group. I will be forever gratefully to Katie for making this available.

One of the workshops I took at Mellwood was with Phil Stark, a brilliant plein-air painter . Since then, I have ventured outdoors with my easel, canvas, paint, brushes, sunscreen, and bug repellent. It is intimating and overwhelming, but when you get something down that you like, it’s a great feeling.

I’ve also been a participant in John Michael Carter workshops. His portrait paintings are stunning! I’m honored that my daughter, Lana, has been the subject for a few of his paintings. Check them out here.

Shows I’ve participated in are:
The Inside Out Show at The Pigment Gallery, Mellwood Arts Center 2009
The Sacred Subject Show, Pyro Gallary, Oct. 2010
Plein Air Painters Exhibit at Archtype Gallery, April 29 2011- through the summer.
Woman / Horse / Legend / Myth at Gallery M, Mellwood Arts Center, 2012

Thank you for visiting. It is a joy to share my passion with you.

Peace and grace to you, elise





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