Elga’s watercolor paintings celebrate primarily the beauty, mystery, and expressionistic qualities of the human figure, particularly how light pattern and color harmony are used to describe the form and enhance the meaning of the composition. Her artwork combines classical and contemporary approaches, melding degrees of realism with the painterly effects of expressionism.
The artist has great respect for the beauty of the classical tradition, but also loves the vitality and coloration of the expressionists. Another major subject is that of Venice, Italy. The city has captivated the artist for the past twenty years, and she has returned to its visual splendor on seven occasions. In 1996 and in 2000 she received faculty travel grants from the University of Pittsburgh to paint on location in Venice, “Visions of Venice” was the resulting solo exhibition.
Her paintings are autobiographical, drawing meaning from her life, whether it is a painting of a family member, such as her daughter in, “Anna, Winter Light” or her husband Andrew in, “Inner Light” or from her favorite models, Sharon and Jan. Many times the inspiration comes from travel, visiting favorite cafes such as Florian’s and Foscarini’s in Venice or from viewing a Jazz concert by Miles Davis or Maynard Ferguson resulting in the Jazz Series.