The paintings of Elle Foley are on display at many galleries and shows around the country, showing local vistas and faraway venues such as the rolling hills of Tuscany. Trained as an architect with a BFA in painting as well, Elle is a renaissance woman with many talents. From yoga classes to running, she knows all the nooks and crannies of Nantucket, capturing some of these small quiet spots in her lovely work. Beginning each canvas with a big sky, her lyrical clouds roll across the canvas and entice the viewer into a more detailed examination of each painting.
After a career with Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in New York, Elle returned to the Art Students League in that city and studied the techniques of the old master painters with teacher Frank Mason. Constructing each landscape with fore, middle, and background planes, we see her analytical mind keep pace with her creative talent to render a vineyard in Italy or a boat yard in Nantucket with the same vigor and delight. Her work has won awards in New York at the Salmagundi Club, National Arts Club, and the Best of Show prize from the Nantucket Artists Association as well.
From Caravaggio in the 17th century to the American Luminist painters of the 19th century, artists have struggled to capture and reflect a light source in their works. Translating the details of reflected and refracted light is a talent few truly master. Elle’s goal is to seize that sunshine or five o’clock shade to create a brilliant mid-day horizon or a silent, shady sunset moment. Each work gives you a sense of the place in which the artist immerses herself. I have watched her work at the Life-Saving Museum and the creek marshes of Monomoy in Nantucket. Elle concentrates and absorbs the essence of the time, tone, and beauty of the natural landscape and shares it with us.