Elizabeth Henderson

Elizabeth Henderson







About the Artist

There was not a single time when I began doing art.  I have been doing it steadily from a very young age.  I took classes in sculpture and painting since the 7th grade and there for a time after my BFA.  I also took courses at the Boston Museum of Art, and a class in color theory at MIT.

My birth father was a physicist.  Both mother and father died when I was quite young so I do not know if my birth mother was at all artistic. My sister is a pianist.  My adoptive parents were not at all artistic but my mother was very supportive of my doing art.

I came to live in Asheville in '06 in order to be near my daughter and grandchildren who have been living in the Columbus NC area for a number of years. My daughter is an extremely talented artist, though she has not       done much art since graduating school as she has been supporting her family and raising kids. 

My husband was in the Foreign Service.  I lived in Thailand for a total of four years,  two in Chaingmai (northern Thailand), and two in Songkhla, (southern Thailand).  We received language training, so I easily immersed myself in Thai culture. My daughter was born there.  While there I spent my time visiting old Bhuddist  temples.  I was greatly influenced by Bhuddism    and its art.  We also lived inTaiwan, the Azores, and Slovenia.  During our travels back and forth and during our R&R's we stopped in various countries.  We spent about a week each in Crete, Jerusalem,Venice, France, and a month in Rome. In each place we did a lot of sight seeing, and I drank in all the art I could.  The most awesome place I visited was a Bhuddist Stupa called Borobudur in Indonesia.  That pyramid like structure contained hundreds of niches each with a seated Bhudda.  I realized there that (and I believe in all the cultures I came to study), the object was not to create something different or individual, but to follow patterns handed down by generations of teachers. They are not the same however.  Each has an exquisite beauty of its own.  However, being a Westerner, I also love European art, especially the great cathedrals.





I work in both acrylic and water color. Water based paints allow me to create washes over which to superimpose outlined figures and structures.  This has been my MO since I began painting.  I conceive a general picture in my mind, and after that make the ink drawing, which I then paint with liquid acrylics.  However, lately I have been painting directly, that is, without outlined figures and structures,on canvas, wood, and watercolor paper. I began to do this as a way out of my "coloring in" box.  But I continue to do both methods.

I call myself Visionary because the paintings are continually evolving visions.i also believe my work has a Surrealist cast.  The images, borrowed from many sources, have evolved from picture to picture and become icons.   Some of the other sources for images are:  Egyptian and Aztec hieroglyphics;  Southwestern rock and sand painting; European medieval lace;  French, English and Ottoman  Empire manuscript Illumination;oriental rugs and other textiles;  botanical drawing, and other sources as well.  

The images are symbolic.  They do have meaning to me but I am most interested in having the viewer bring his own meaning to them.

The whole process has to do with spirituality, my creativity as a reflection of my creator.  I see the whole world and art since cave man to be spiritual and very uncanny in nature.

I continue to take painting classes at the art school of 310Art.  I also am taking a sculpture/pottery class.  My paintings reflect my sculpture and vice versa.