Elizabeth McCarten

Elizabeth studied painting at the University of Brighton before completing The Drawing Year postgraduate course at The Royal Drawing School in 2013. Since then Elizabeth has taught on the school’s Young Artists programme, leading weekly drawing sessions for 10 – 14 year olds that have a particular emphasis on drawing from observation. She has taught across London at various locations including; The Royal Academy, The V&A Museum of Childhood, Saatchi and Whitechapel gallery and CASS Art Islington.

‘Living in a complex and urban environment my work often stems from a desire to find freedom, space and simplicity. Finding and connecting to places by creating emotive responses are central to my practise as a painter. Most recently my paintings have been based from my mothers home town in northern Portugal, Sandim. Despite the constant change and development of busy London life Sandim has been a consistent place that I have been able to return to each year and draw inspiration from where change feels somewhat slower and life feels more straightforward. Life and death feel closer and nature seems to clarify the complexities of life. Working directly from observation I gather information and context through drawing and working on studies mostly in watercolour or gouache before deconstructing and breaking down the image to lyrical lines and marks, often on a larger scale that may be worked on in a variety of mediums. A lot of my work is often on paper and will use colour washes and economical lines and brush strokes to attempt to achieve a directness within the work. Imagination and reality start to merge together in a freedom of paint and conversations between figurative and abstraction become apparent. Scenes are reduced to shapes and colour that invite the viewer to see differently into a landscape of possibilities.’