Art Category: Landscapes, Portrait/Figures, Ranching, Rivers/Fish, Wildlife, and Oil Painting
Elene Weege exchanged a medical business career for the artist’s life in the 1980s. She attended the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, WI to study art and concentrated on oil painting. In 1998, she moved to Montana to live in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley near Stevensville and to paint as a full time artist with a studio in her home. She is surrounded by breathtaking views of the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains and ever-changing Big Skies. She is a member of the American Impressionists Society, the Montana Professional Artists Association, the Oil Painters of America, the Pastel Society of the Northern Rockies, and Western Heritage Artists. She also holds the office of Secretary for the Montana Professional Artists Association, Inc, whose vision as a group is to bring the fine artists from all over Montana into local communities to promote the arts.
While Elene was developing a deep admiration for the western landscape “Montana the Last Best Place” – she began artistic studies with a local artist to paint impressionistic pastels of the landscapes and big skies in Montana. Learning to do pastels in the techniques of the Masters, she layered soft pastels on raw stretched Belgian linen. Today she uses both pastels and oils to interpret the vistas of the West. By employing the techniques of the Masters in both mediums, Elene paints her pastels in multiple layers of crosshatching and overlapping strokes on the raw stretched linen much in the manner of the Impressionists, namely Cassatt, Degas and Monet. She builds her oil paintings with multiple textures, on occasion even using cold wax and encaustic methods. These techniques increase depth and give the the works color harmony and a marvelous texture close to that of nature and a delight to the eye.
Concentrating on oils and pastels, she began attending workshops and has enjoyed studying both mediums with Ramon Kelley, whose bravura techniques have made him a well-known painter in the West, and with Stephen Pan, who demonstrates a stunning command of light and color which reveal his extraordinary talent for expressionist oil paintings. Lorenzo Chavez opened new doors for Elene’s muse in 2007 to include painting “en plein air”. She reluctantly returned from France October 2008 after plein air painting in Provence and the Canal Du Midi area and enjoying the art trip of a lifetime.
“Plein air painting has opened a whole new world of light, and texture, and technique for me through direct observation and has helped train my artist’s eye, inspire my work, and advance my creativity. Through exploration of method and ground, color and light and use of the palette knife, I express and share a compelling scene at an ideal moment. I am inspired by the beauty of nature and light and driven to record my response to a visual impression. Join me in my artful journeys.”