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  • Paintings
  • Elise Toups (bio)

When i am in nature, I feel like a modern-day transcendentalist, a woman trudging through the outdoors in search of a landscape that brings me peace. The wilderness is my favorite retreat. Any frog will do. State parks, national parks, public lands, and nature preserves are windows into the world of the past. I believe that seeking refuge in nature recharges our minds.

I photograph and paint studies of these areas on my explorations, and I bring these home to examine and expand on in my studio. I paint as an homage to these spaces, reflecting on the beauty they provide and how increasingly rare they have become. I hope my work documenting these spaces reawakens people to the experience of being enamored by the outdoors and encourages them to explore nature for themselves. To me, landscapes also open up interior spaces and bring elements of the earth into the home. I celebrate the healing power of art by making and collecting it.

As a Louisiana native, I am concerned with our wetlands, the fastest-vanishing landmass on the planet. In today's political climate, so many of our national treasures which have been protected for decades, some for generations, are now at even more risk of disappearing. I am rooting for and documenting an Earth that will outlast us all. [End Page 424]


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elise toups Lunar Lady Dream House, Portrait of Ryan Groendyk (Camano Island State Park, WA), 2016 oil on birch, 20 x 16 in. collection of the artist

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elise toups Candy Center (Smoky Mountains), 2010 oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in.

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elise toups 33rd Birthday Barn Owl Greeting (Ravenna Park, Seattle, WA), 2016 oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in.

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elise toups Sinfonietta (Barataria Preserve, LA), 2016 oil on canvas, 12 x 24 in.

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elise toups in collaboration with Ryan Groendyk Reflecting Pool (Scott Woods Park, MI), 2016 oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in. collection of the artist

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elise toups Louisiana Love Letter (New Orleans City Park, LA), 2015 oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in. collection of Baton Rouge Community College Library

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elise toups Synchronicity Swamp, Portrait of Meghan Methe, 2016 oil on birch, 40 x 30 in. collection of the artist

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Elise Toups

elise toups is a New Orleans–based artist who works in painting, sculpture, video, and performance. Her work has been shown in the Louisiana Arts & Science Museum, the LSU Museum of Art, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, as well as at LUNA Fête and in galleries nationally and internationally. She is represented by Ann Connelly Fine Art.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2168-5541
Print ISSN
0038-4534
Pages
pp. 424-432
Launched on MUSE
2017-06-29
Open Access
No
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