American artist Claire Elliott explores botanical subject matter through her paintings and captures the unruly natural world.
Through Elliott's remarkable paintings, she considers and compares the qualities attributed to plants and weeds. She allows room for the natural rhythm of weeds to grow by liquifying her paint on the canvas, the viewer sees how water, a natural element, is uncontrollable at times. Elliott paints with acrylic gouache on yupo, a non-absorbent, ultra-smooth surface that allows for acrylic paint to sit on top of the paper and more watered paint to move around the surface of the paper. This use of water mimics how plant life can push through to unexpected places. The viewer sees the unpredictable movement in the background of Elliott’s work. Upon this viewing, we realize the qualities of what surrounds the subject matter enhances the foreground of these paintings. The loose gestures signify the natural characteristics of plant life throughout the entire composition. The bright greens, muted mauves, and dark violets come alive on the page. Her depiction of weeds and wildflowers in a new light provides the capacity for them to be appreciated when often overlooked or disdained.
With Claire Elliott’s intentional movement of the paint around the yupo, the plants feel to the viewer as if they have struggled to grow, and as much as they are resilient, they still are beautifully ephemeral.