Elaine Lisle

Elaine Lisle

she / her
Bryn Mawr, United States


Elaine Lisle is a Philadelphia painter known for her vibrant city scenes and landscapes.
She has been painting professionally for more than 30 years. Her work spans a variety of subjects from traditional en plein air landscapes to carefully constructed compositions involving figures and complicated architectural elements. Her paintings are rendered with crisp bold brushwork and delight the viewer with light and color as well as a sense of intimacy.
Lisle has exhibited widely in the mid-Atlantic region as well as in New York and London. She has had 6 solo shows with Gross McCleaf gallery in Philadelphia. Her work was recently featured in the book “Philadelphia Originals” and she has been featured in Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, American Art Collector and International Artist Magazine. She has won regional and national awards, including Best landscape at Phila Sketch Club Small works 2020, Best of Show PSC 2018, Best Nocturne at Annapolis Plein air, 3rd place Brandywine Plein air 2019, and 3rd place at Bucks County Plein air 2019. Her richly painted oils are owned by numerous corporations, public institutions and individual collectors around the globe. In addition to the Gross McCleaf Gallery, she is represented by Gallery 222 in Malvern, Carega Gallery in New Hampshire and Les Poissons Gallery in Maryland.
Lisle received a Bachelors's degree in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and did post-graduate work at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She is on the faculty of the Main Line Art Center in Haverford, PA and has taught workshops at Wayne art center, Fleisher Art Memorial, and also leads workshops in Italy and the south of France.

Artist Statement

My paintings express the feeling of awe I have with the landscape. They are more likely to be joyous, energetic, vibrant, complex works as opposed to gentle, pastel or brooding canvasses. I look for the surprise in the composition, whether it be a statement made by a lone figure, a spot of orange found in an otherwise green wood, or an unusual lavender reflection in a river at dusk. It is exciting for me to take an ordinary scene and make it extraordinary. I am particularly drawn to the urban landscape and the shapes and patterns of light unique to the manmade environment.
I have been painting my whole life, and professionally since 1994. I work only in oil. I studied at the University of Pennsylvania where I was greatly influenced by the work of Neil Welliver who was the Fine Arts Dept head at the time. I was mesmerized by the way he took an intricate landscape and broke it down into shapes of color. I went on to study painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where I continued my focus on painting the urban landscape. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Hopper, Sloan and Bellows of the ashcan school. I spent many years painting Philadelphia neighborhoods and have found the Schuylkill river to be a huge source of inspiration as well.
I love painting en plein air (outdoors from life), as well as completing larger works in the studio from on-site studies, reference sketches, and photographs. With commissioned works I generally complete more than one on-site sketch and often use reference photographs as well.
I live and work in the Philadelphia area but my travels have given me much inspiration as well. I have painted in France and Ireland numerous times. I grew up in New England so I am very partial to the woods and fall colors as well as the Maine landscape. More recently I have discovered the mid-atlantic seascapes of the eastern shore. My palette tends to feature bright warm colors, and high contrast. I love the long shadows of late afternoon and cr

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