For me, painting the landscape is a spiritual experience. In the landscape I feel a connection to the powers and beauty of the natural world. It is an emotional thing, to be so moved by the shimmer of a reflection, the grace of a cloud, or the gesture of old growth. The landscape is ageless, ancient, but always brand new. It is hard and soft, tranquil and fierce, dark and yet filled with light. I am driven to express my inspiration to the highest level of perfection, so others can see my world through my eyes and heart. In the landscape I am close to what I love, and it returns that love to me. It is a romance that is everlasting.”
Elizabeth Rhoades, an American impressionist landscape painter, was born and raised in New Haven, CT and currently resides in Belle Haven, VA. As a very small child, Elizabeth was preoccupied with art, earning the title of class artist from as early as Kindergarten. Her mother was a representational painter, and she encouraged Elizabeth to pursue her artistic passion. Elizabeth Rhoades began her professional painting career in 1973, during her high school senior year, as a watercolorist, after taking advanced classes from Leo Stoutsenberger at Paier College of Art. Stoutsenberger instilled in Elizabeth a love for outdoor painting. For thirty-five years Elizabeth taught public school elementary art while painting in her free time. In the summer of 2001, during her post-graduate course work, she was exposed to professional pastels, and from then on became intrigued by the brilliant color, velvety texture, and immediacy of this medium. She began painting prolifically in pastels, while teaching full time and raising her family. During this period she studied under many of America’s best-loved landscape artists. In 2014 she retired from her teaching career in public schools, and has since continued to paint professionally. In 2020 she began painting in oils. Her passion is painting on location, in the plein-air tradition. She also works in her studio in inclement weather from her value studies, plein air paintings, and reference photos that she has taken on location. A lifetime of plein air painting has provided her with a foundation to accurately depict the elements of the landscape. Her keen observation and thorough knowledge of the landscape is evident in her award winning paintings. There is an emotional quality to her work that brings peace and tranquility to the viewer, while at the same time having a distinct vitality through her use of color. Her preference is in painting nature, undisturbed by human intervention.
Elizabeth is a Signature Member of Pastel Society of America, Connecticut Pastel Society, Pastel Society of the West Coast, Pastel Society of New Mexico, Degas Pastel Society, and an Elected Artist in Connecticut Plein Air Painters Society, Rockport Art Association, Lyme Art Association, North Shore Arts Association, Academic Artists, American Artists Professional League, and Audubon Artists. She is an Artist Member in the Salmagundi Club, and Oil Painters of America. She was a Featured Artist in the Oct/Nov 2016 edition of PleinAir Magazine. Elizabeth has been juried into many highly competitive Plein Air Competitions, including Plein Air Easton, Plein Air Richmond, Adirondack Plein Air, Paint Annapolis, Harford Plein Air, and Finger Lakes Plein Air. Of the many awards she has won, Elizabeth’s recent awards include Best Pastel in Academic Artists, Best in Show at North Shore Art Association, multiple awards from Salmagundi Club, Second Place, Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival, and the Medal of Honor Plus for a Pastel in the American Artists Professional League. Elizabeth has been juried into a multitude of highly competitive exhibits throughout the United States. Her work is included in corporate and private collections from coast to coast.
“In my work, I am taking you to a special place. In this place you feel that you are safe, undisturbed, that the world around you is filled with peace, and you have solitude. There is a sense of timelessness, and you can reflect and contemplate.”