ç Elaine Verstraete 2018

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elaine verstraete

It has always been my priority to live life as a creative venture. My life and work have interwoven not only as Illustrator and fine artist but now also as full-time caregiver for my mother. I find it fascinating how our personal experiences impact the evolution of our art. I am grateful that living in this mindset has also helped me in finding creative solutions to life's challenges.

 

I earned my BFA from Syracuse University's school of Visual and Performing arts in 1984. I participated in the studies abroad program in London, England. Shortly thereafter, I launched my creative life as a fine art watercolorist and also established my illustration and design business in Rochester, NY and NYC. I have taught a combination of foundation drawing and multi-levels of illustration spanning thirteen years at Rochester Institute of Technology and Fingerlakes Community College. I currently make art from my studio located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of NY.

3D

"Water on Pressure".   Acrylic on pressure treated wood

All things are temporary. In spite of their design to resist decay, pressure treated lumber is not impervious to the power of water on degradation. Both powerful and beautiful, water is the hand that helps bring the wood back to the earth. 

"Kinetic".    acrylic waterscape paintings on canvas

 Painting.     acrylic, oil land/waterscapes on canvas and paper

3D

"Water on Pressure".   Acrylic on pressure treated wood

All things are temporary. In spite of their design to resist decay, pressure treated lumber is not impervious to the power of water on degradation. Both powerful and beautiful, water is the hand that helps bring the wood back to the earth. 

"Line forms"    pen & ink on paper

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ILLUSTRATION

I have been an illustrator since 1987. During the 90's decade and into the early 2000's, the print industry was using highly realistic illustration. As a result, I developed a controlled glazing watercolor technique as my primary medium. Versed with the figure, my work was a good match for the healthcare industry including American Lung Association's educational brochures and Christmas and Easter Seals. Wegmans Market was just emerging in the early 1990's, when I was first commissioned to illustrate Wegmans brand "Food You Feel Good About" labels. One of my first Wegmans commissions, you can still find my juicy orange slice illustration on the half gallon refrigerated orange juice. In 2005,Wegmans inspired the brush line style that is so popular today. I was asked to interpret this style with illustrations that appeared in the first issue of Menu Magazine. Using brush and ink then adding color washes, I eventually coined this as my "Parisian style". These illustrations appear on numerous products including the Gourmet Artisan Sauces, found in the deli department.

Event Posters

Event posters are particularly satisfying to create. Each event is unique and filled with potential visuals. A vital art form for over 200 years, I am wonderfully inspired by the history of poster art including those created by French artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. I have created event posters for Naples Grape Festival,

Rochester, NY's Lilac Festival, Corn Hill Festival, Park Ave Festival, and Gardenscape.

 

Book Illustration

I have illustrated numerous children's picture books and adult chapter books. Most recent are, "Thoreau and Me in the Fingerlakes" (Powell Hill Press 2016) and "Gargle the Goose" (Amazon 2015) which include pen & ink drawings done in a detailed nostalgic style reminiscent of a classic fable. "The Star of Christmas" (Winterlake Press 2009) earned a Parent's Choice award and Moonbeam Gold Medal. It describes a young girl's conversation with tree ornaments that explores the true meaning of Christmas. I feel that these highly detailed color illustrations represent the epitome of my glazing technique in effort to achieve the light and sparkle of the holiday season. Additionally,  I have illustrated numerous historical biographies (Lerner Publishing) that include a historical fiction, "Many Ways to Be a Soldier", a story of a young boy during the Revolutionary War who saves his town. "Shipwreck Search" describes a more recent historical scenario. It describes the 1990 raising of the CSS H. L. Hunely Civil war era submarine. 

Advertising and Collateral 

University of Rochester, American Lung Association, Wegmans, Artisan Meats, Nazareth College, ARC of Monroe County