“You must construct a circle mentally, a circle of light and intention,” quoted from Stanislavsky, is the first step of the creative process of Contemporary Mixed Media Artist, Elaine Soltis.
Her layering of mono print, collage, and embellishment, starts with positive thought affirmation, symbol, or image. It is an introduction to 60 seconds of a lasting imprint and story. Also, there is the freedom to recycle, mark, abandon, and edit.
Elaine writes, “Trusting in what you cannot see is not an easy thing to do. It comes from confidence in your personal daily encounters. Years, of working with highly pigmented seasonal French Beaute’ product, art medium instruction in chemical action and reaction, and journaling of the ordinary day, have provided many tools of choice.
“It is a spiritual connection to what I feel, though, that makes the difference. Lovely energy, random coming out of nowhere, the intuitive painting evolves out of the process of how, why, and when. The more I let it flow, the more organic in form, a beautiful purity is found.”
Elaine Soltis has been both mentor and teacher to other artists. While creating original design, a valued exchange of experience and friendship develops. The end result of classroom, studio time, exhibitions, gallery showings, and invitational, is that there is no end to ideas, potential, and grace.
Elaine is currently a Studio (211) Artist at Goggle Works Center for the Arts, Reading, PA. She has had the cumulative eight years’ experience of interviewing other Artists in the region, for cable television, BCTV. Working as a Promotional Trainer and Colorist for French designed Beaute’, has given Elaine, highly impacted vibrancy to her palettes.
Belonging, heart and soul, to awareness of Wellness, her gratitude is given for being a 25 year Reiki Master. Retiring from Actor’s Equity, she had been a 20 year Union Member, with stage, voice over, modeling, and commercial engagements.
Elaine Soltis – Art Statement
Written By: Ron Schira
Elaine Soltis, over the course of her lifelong career as a multi-media artist has been a singular voice within the Central Pennsylvania arts community. Her many exhibitions, both solo and in
group, have consistently portrayed her as materially innovative, technically competent, and secure in her goals as an artist.
After a circuitous route that began in New England, and found its way to the Pacific Northwest, Soltis had returned to Reading PA after two cross country moves, and became involved with the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts; renting a studio with the organization and participating in their many events. Still associated with the Center, she maintains a workspace on the second floor where the majority of her mixed media artwork is produced.
One may say her background is diverse. Prior to her relocation she made a living as a stage and voice-over actor for television, an advertising model, and a 20 year member of the Actors Equity Union. Other credits include being a professional colorist for the French Designer YSL, as well as a 25 year Reiki Master. Currently, her credits include eight years of interviewing artists on Berks Community Cable Television for GoggleWorks Lively Arts and the Yocum Institute for Arts Education, while teaching students how to produce their own art.
Alongside her endeavors in the Reading area, Soltis spends a great deal of time with her family in Cleveland Ohio while exploring the beaches of Lake Erie and gathering such dazzling ephemera as beach-glass, beads and other items that create the tactile and vibrant textures that enliven her artwork’s surfaces. As a mixed media painter, many works contain substances and items from nature. Thick layers of pigment, for instance, may raise an eighth inch above their canvas or wooden ground, and thicken into a coagulated stream. Some contain collage items or free-hanging strings that suggest divisional or spacial lines to further bring the compositions into three dimension.
Inherent to these works as well is a generous and skillful handling of fluid oils and cold wax paint that slides and congeals in a patently controlled manipulation of complimentary color. Her technique involves little actual brushwork in the manner of traditional paint mixing as she tilts and angles the liquid paint, much akin to the mannerisms of Morris Louis or Helen Frankenthaler. Multiple wet-on-wet layers manifest gelled areas of swirled, stippled pigment that embosses the painting and gives their compositions a physical presence. Brushes or other tools are used merely to direct the flow of color, like a branch in a stream.
Aside from their abstract approach, these paintings are landscapes, beaches and trees. Every work is infused with poetic syntax. Many imply a state, a flow, of consciousness or meditative thought while others refer to a singular identifying trait. Each piece confers meaning, either obscure or manifest, and consistently implements a systematic practice of applying fluid paint poured freely over a canvas or board while attaching the crystalline items found on the beaches of Lake Erie.
A common element throughout is a solid white sky. An ambiguous painterly device, the sky operates as a space of purity for these amorphous phenomena to co-exist, no matter what they represent or attempt to represent, and place the viewer at a safe and contemplative vantage point.
As an acknowledgment toward traditional Chinese painting, she signs her paintings lower right with an ordinary zinc washer, using it like an I Ching coin, or a chop, while angling her signature straight up.
In conclusion, all of the work is esoteric, intimate and spiritually minded; reminding us to “trust in what you cannot see” as a way of intuiting and evolving the work’s home-spun facture, investing each piece with personal value intended not only for her own edification but that of her viewers, hoping to create an exchange of experience while developing friendships through art.
Ron Schira, Art Critic, 1/2020