Deconstructed Abstracts

December 10, 2016

After a short break from painting this summer, I needed a simple, fun goal to get me back into the swing of things this fall.  I felt the need to put paint to paper, but did not have the energy or inspiration to think of a subject, to make those important foundational drawings, and create a successful composition.

So I gathered a big supply of watercolor paper, loaded my palette with pure hues, and began playing.  I reached for the colors that attracted me and I made marks with my favorite brushes. It was pure play.

Once finished with the “painting” I had the desire to cut it into smaller pieces and rearrange those pieces to make a more interesting composition.  Once I was pleased with the new arrangement, I glued the pieces down on another piece of watercolor paper. The following photos show the “before” and “after” results of this process.












This is a fun and liberating mode of creating, and I plan to show these deconstructed abstracts in my upcoming solo show in February 2017 at Village Gallery of Arts, 12505 NW Cornell Road, Suite 14, Portland, OR 97229.


“Evening” Wins Award in Juried Show

“Evening” by Elizabeth M. Higgins

My watercolor painting “Evening” won a third place award in Village Gallery of Arts’ semi-annual juried show.  The juror was Kathy Haney, who has taught high school art for over 25 years.  Her watercolors have won awards in over 30 local, regional and national juried shows.  She is a member of the National Watercolor Society, the Northwest Watercolor Society and the Watercolor Society of Oregon.  Her art is in private collections in the US, Europe and Asia.

“Evening” was painted with watercolor over a gessoed surface.  I applied thick layers of quinacridone colors to a gessoed surface, and then wiped away areas of paint to reveal the stand of trees – a liberating, surprising method of painting.

“Grape Hyacinths” Wins Award

I was thrilled to hear that my painting “Grape Hyacinths” was awarded Third Place in Village Gallery of Art’s October Award Show, juried by Jennie Armitage. This painting was created on Yupo, a synthetic paper that is slippery and creates wonderful, unexpected results.  Since Yupo is waterproof, it doesn’t absorb watercolor, so the paint can be moved around and even removed, as evident in the stems of the Hyacinths in this painting.  I used some of my hand-carved rubber stamps to create texture in the border and also in the background.

“Grape Hyacinths” by Elizabeth M. Higgins

“Grape Hyacinths” is on display at Village Gallery of Arts, 12505 NW Cornell Road, Portland, 97229 until the end of October.

Village Gallery of Arts Award Show

“Stay Out Of My Room” by Elizabeth M. Higgins

“Stay Out of My Room” was awarded Second Place in Village Gallery of Arts annual award show, held in April 2015 and juried by Ellie Rozendaal, photographer and art teacher at Sunset High School in Portland, Oregon.  I would like to share with you the juror’s comments, which I feel accurately reflect what I was feeling as I created this watercolor painting (20″ x 14″ unmatted; 28″ x 22″ framed and matted).

Juror’s Comments:  “I am drawn to the juxtaposition of imagery with messaging.  Your painting “Stay out of My Room” tells a story of growing up, and portrays a respect and embracing of change for me.  The tones are gentle and strong.”   – Ellie Rozendaal

The painting is on display at Village Gallery of Arts through the end of April, 12505 NW Cornell Road, Suite 14, Portland, OR  97229.