Elizabeth Coyne was born in Minnesota, raised in California, Canada and Indiana, before moving to New York in the early 1980’s. Ms. Coyne had numerous exhibitions in New York during the 80’s and 90’s. She has been a working artist for more than 30 years. She has Masters of Fine Arts in painting from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, a B.A. in fine arts from Purdue University and has studied and lectured at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ms. Coyne has exhibited her work in solo shows in Chicago, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Michigan. Her work has been featured in group shows in Germany, Canada, New York City, Milwaukee, Ohio, Michigan, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC. Ms. Coyne’s paintings are included in many private & public art collections. Over the past twenty five years she has won many awards and has been featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, the Chicago Tribune, the (Chicago) Reader, Windy City Times and many other publications. In addition to her painting, Ms. Coyne has held studio art and teaching positions at Williams College in Massachusetts. At Williams College, Ms. Coyne worked with Thomas Krens the provactive former director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York. More recently, Ms. Coyne has been teaching at Lake Michigan College and Southwestern Michigan College, while exhibiting her work in Chicago galleries. She has been a visiting artist and lecturer at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Ox-bow Summer program in Saugatuck, Michigan.
My paintings offer contemplation into life and into possibilities of existence. For me making art is about not only seeing and looking at the world around me- but also knowing that world and absorbing it. I have developed a personal invented language of images and symbols based on the natural world. This visual language is collected from connections that I make in an ethereal way, mental images built from the logic of the materials I work with. This world I make in a painting, describes abstract places and relationships and it is a physical transcriptive process, where each painting is a synthesis of the mind. An image is composed from different sources, both products of my imagination and transcriptions based on my perceptions. Painting has become a way of mapping my thoughts and experiences – a type of private cartography. I have always moved between figuration and narrative abstraction. I am interested in states of being, inner world versus outer world, and the play of internal and external forces; and the mind, body, who we are, the layers of meaning that float beneath the surface.
The process of painting is very important to me, and the thoughts that become embedded in the paint itself, become a dialogue. I have a true connection to the materials I use such as oil paint, canvas, wood, paper, ink. Painting for me is a space for meditation on nature, existence, and the universe. And I have developed a specific personal way of painting and a personal surface quality in my work. My new work is a reflection of my current states of mind – I am working on a series of paintings based on the images from my monoprints which deal with tangible and intangible realities. Exploring the notion that the mind and the body share something in common with the universe and the natural world around us.
“My Paintings are a contemplation into life and existence. Painting for me is a space for meditation on nature, existence, and the universe. In my work there is an invented language. Painting has become a way for me to map my thoughts and experiences—a type of private cartography each I look at the world & absorb it and try to put that back onto the canvas in a personal way. I am not interested in recreating exactly what I see. I am only interested in my personal vision of things that I see. Plant life, images from nature, bits of the universe and cosmos, images from the body, brain structures, DNA structures, wind structures, ocean life, cell structures, all of it is contained in my painting. I have developed a personal symbol system based upon those observations and have developed a personal way of using paint. My goal is always to create a living and emotional moving image though the materials and images that I use. I think my role, as an artist, is to be a translator—breaking the world down and reassembling it in my own personal way. I have lived my life through paint. The process of painting is very important to me and the thoughts that get embedded in the paint itself, becomes a dialogue. The most important thing to me in my work is to be honest and true to myself.”