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 Elizabeth Locke  (1949 - )

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Lived/Active: Texas      Known for: landscape, figure, animal, and still-life painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Fascinated by patterns of light and dark and abstract shapes, Elizabeth Locke, in a style that combines realism, tonalism and impressionism, paints landscapes, figures, animal and still-lifes subjects.  A resident of Texas, she prefers to paint en plein air so that she is responding to something real time.

Locke is also an art educator, having operated an art school in Austin for several decades.  In 2000, she and her students went to Giverny, France, the home property of French Impressionist Claude Monet.  By day they painted the French countryside and then painted his gardens in the late afternoon and evening and with special privileges, were allowed to paint after dark.   She said that because she was allowed to paint the way she wanted, it was a totally freeing experience, and led to her being much more aggressive about her own painting career.  To that point, she thought that "teaching was her calling", something she still loves, but the trip to France opened new doors of creativity for her.

Elizabeth Locke was born into a family of artists from both maternal and paternal relatives.  Her English maternal grandmother was a medical illustrator and also did portrait miniatures on ivory.  Locke's mother emigrated to America and, after divorcing Locke's father, did fashion illustration for The Los Angeles Times.  Locke's father was an illustrator agent in New York City.  His father was a succesful landscape etcher in Vermont and Florida, and his mother was a folk-art painter, who lived into her 90s.

Locke's talent was obvious from childhood, and she studied at the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles where her mother was teaching.  She also studied at art schools in England and then at the Art Students League in New York City.  Instead of pursuing her art immediately as a profession, she became involved in meditation and spent eight years traveling the world as a meditation teacher.

She married and had a son and moved to Austin, and then returned to art after the marriage ended.  She supported herself with her art teaching, opening her school named Austin Fine Art Classes.  A big inspiration to her is the book, Hawthorne on Painting, by Charles Hawthorne, who taught for many years in Provincetown, Massachusetts.  She has also taken workshops from Kim English, Quang Ho and Michael Lynch.

Virginia Campbell, "Finding Focus", Southwest Art, April 2006, p. 99

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