"I grew up in Charleston, SC and studied painting with William Halsey at the College of Charleston (BFA). I was greatly influenced by William’s abstract painting philosophy and style. I subsequently lived in Bloomington, IN, Dallas, TX and New York, NY during which time I continued painting, received an MBA from IU, was an operations manager and single mother and studied weaving.
When I moved back to the Midwest I bought a loom and began designing and weaving as well as crocheting rugs. My rugs made their way as far away as California in the US and to Europe.
An exhibit by Vera Klemment in the Fort Wayne Museum of Art moved me to return to painting. Just the smell of the oil paint inspires and motivates. The path only shows itself one step at a time. I am constantly reminding myself that all I can know is where I have been and what I am doing now. What happens next will only reveal itself in the next moment."
--from Catherine's Website
Painting shown: "Timothy, Noble County, IN" www.catherineblythart.com
"From early on in her childhood, Elizabeth immersed herself in making art. Her first artistic prize (for a painting) came in first grade, earning her an appearance on the popular children’s show “Bozo’s Circus.” After graduating from Fort Wayne South Side High School, she entered IU Bloomington’s BFA program in clay. The clay instructors there encouraged experimentation beyond vessels and typical functional pieces to explore sculptural form. After completing her undergraduate studies, she remained in Bloomington and was one of the early organizers of the Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts (started in 1977 and now considered to be among the top 50 art shows in America) and was active in the Bloomington Artist Co-op.
A two-week vacation to northern California began her 27 years of West Coast living — first in Healdsburg (Sonoma County) and then south to Santa Monica and L.A. County. She found herself in proximity to clay icons like Patrick Shia Crabb and Paul Soldner, whose forms seem to undulate with an inner life, like a human’s vital organ. These influences are still seen in her use of shards and fragments, dramatic textures and a primal intensity that is by turns oceanic, Japanese and occasionally Ancient Greek or Roman. A catch-all phrase for these evolutionary forms is “bio-morphic.” The fluidity of shapes and sizes vary widely, although Elizabeth is finding herself more drawn to large-format creation these days.
Her work has seen many evolutions, and some favorite techniques have returned to her studio, like raku. “It was all rage in L.A. in the late ’80s,” Elizabeth said, “but other forms took over. Recently — especially in the Midwest — there has been a renewed interest in raku pieces.'"
--Steve Gruber, journalist for The Elkhart Truth, from his June 25th, 2015 article "Ceramic artist Elizabeth Wamsley expresses fascination with nature’s volatility through her work."