Elaine loved art and children and when she combined both of her loves as a teacher she was very happy. That is the reason for this gallery: profits from the sale of Elaine and Don’s art support the Elaine Raphael Arts Fund which provides totally free art instruction and workshops to Vermont kids as well as young people in other localities. While pursuing an award-winning career as an author and illustrator of children’s books, Elaine began an intensive study of etching. Immersing herself in this complex and demanding discipline eventually absorbed all her energy and attention. Beginning with single plate etching she rapidly ascended the scale of difficulty by tackling the challenges of multi-color etching – a very complex process involving many plates and colors. When she achieved success she was able to create editions thanks to digital printing and its incredible fidelity to the original. These are now available as affordable prints in the gallery.
Fortunately for us, Elaine was never interested in repeating herself (she loved to experiment and she instilled that same desire in the young people lucky enough to work in her studio). Her artistic curiosity led her to explore American art of the late 19th century and the paintings of American Realists Edward Hopper, Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. Their distinctive approach to the American landscape had a profound influence on how she viewed life in Vermont. Oil painting, which she had studied while a student at CooperUnion Art School in NY, began to absorb all her time and over a period of several years, she produced a collection of iconic paintings worthy of her predecessors.
Beginning with her serene and colorful art we have tried to create a contemplative atmosphere here at the gallery -inviting you to enter her art and experience the many layers of meaning and expression that Elaine had discovered in the world around her.