Paper Paintings - Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

'Tis the frigid season here in the northeastern U.S. I can't think of a better way to warm things up than to take an imaginary trip to Florida where we'll be introduced to the colorful paper art of Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson.

Palm Tree Collage Painting by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

The subject matter of her appealing collages often correlates to the flora and fauna of the sunny locale.

Birds Collage Painting by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

If fact, many of Elizabeth's collages feature animals... surprising in their realism considering she 'paints' each creature using bits of maps, ticket stubs, sheet music, retired book pages, you name it.

Fox Collage Painting by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

Also of interest is her labor-intensive process of first creating hand-painted papers that she tears into small pieces and applies to a hand drawn sketch on a painted background.

Radish Seed Packet - in progress - Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

A cool thing about Elizabeth is that she delights in sharing her ever-evolving process with others. She often leads popular workshops around the U.S. and beyond, and has released a self-published book called Painting Paper that details her technique for creating decorative painted and/or textured paper for use in your own art projects.

Radishes Collage Painting by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

Elizabeth studied graphic design and fine art in college, but her love of collage began later when she was given a scrap box of childhood mementos by her father. Rather than store the notes, cards, and receipts for posterity, she began incorporating them into paintings.

Bee Collage Painting by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

Elizabeth frequently updates her Facebook page and you can sign up for her newsletter to learn about upcoming three-day workshops that sound like a whole lot of fun. She just announced a new one in Tuscany next October.

Rabbit Collage Painting by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

Enjoy a look at her website: Paper Paintings

The Artwork of Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson: While most collage Artists work with bits of paper which are inherently ‘found’ objects, the meticulously torn papers used in the vibrantly colored collages of Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson are first hand-painted.  Only then are they placed in position.  Her works were featured recently at the Maitland Art Center where curator Richard Colvin said, “Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson’s artworks have a fresh quality that belies the way they are constructed.” A First Place Winner in The Artist’s Magazine (2010), Nelson also received a grant from United Arts of Central Florida (her 2nd) in the same year.
This versatile Artist also plays the violin with the Maitland Symphony Orchestra and works as a professional graphic designer. On Mother’s Day 2009 St. Hilaire Nelson completed her first sprint distance triathlon and ran her first half marathon in October 2010. Her newest goal – a full Olympic distance triathlon!
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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. What a wonderful article! Thank you kindly!!

  2. Elizabeth is a great instructor and a very talented artist. I took her workshop in Houston and recommend it to everyone. Guarantee you will learn something new, have fun and meet many wonderful artist

  3. These are so wonderful, Ann! There's such personality in the animals. Beautiful work.

  4. Her work is gorgeous! One can see just how many hours she must put in to each piece. Just stunning! Thank you for introducing us to yet another amazing paper artist.

  5. Remarkable how she does the eyes of the animals. Love her radish collage painting.

  6. Hello Elizabeth. I am a musician who owns a couple of your paintings. Your artwork brings me joy and optimism and encouragement to live life to my fullest. Thank you! If you have time, please check out my website Stay healthy. Best regards, Steven

  7. Hi Elizabeth- I just bought your giraffe and oranges picture and can’t wait to hang it in my sp Ed room. Love your work- especially the palm tree flamingo and fish

  8. Hi Elizabeth,
    I purchased a house recently and inspired by a show called Antiques Roadshow, just looked at the only painting left in the house . I discovered that it is one of yours. It's called "Hope". What can you tell me about it? Please. We are mesmerized by it.

    Thank you for any thoughts you can recall.

    Dave Henry, Maryville, TN.


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