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Elspeth's artistic virtuosity spans a broad spectrum of media, styles, and techniques. The commission to complete a major rosemalling project provided an opportunity to devote attention to a form of artistic expression with which she has a long and rewarding involvement.
One of the images in the painting, photographed from the base of the pilaster to which it is mounted. The polyptych painting consists of 16 of these images.
The commission in connection with the Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley conference center renovation was rewarding in many ways, but particularly so because of the design opportunity of reconciling the aesthetic of a centuries-old folk art with the architectural and interior design style, materials, and other characteristics of a world-class, state-of-art conference center and resort. It's one thing to to apply rosemalling to a piece of furniture in an environment where decor participates in the traditional idiom of such work, and quite another to successfully pull a folk-art style out of its tradition and present it in the context of a completely different idiom. Eclecticism and other design styles achieve this, but the accomplishment is its own rigorous art form.
Elspeth's easel in her PenterHaven studio, configured for painting the small frieze panels at the top of each image in Beauty Along The Way. The rosemalling was entirely free-handed with no stencils, sketch lines, shadow images, or other aids of any kind.
Elspeth designed and executed the panels based on wildflowers and shrubs native to the Wasatch Mountain Range in which Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley is situated. These native plants were the primary inspirations: Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii), scarlet globemallow (Sphaeralcea munroana), firechalice (Zauschneria garrettii), Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja chromosa), and golden currant (Ribes aureum).
Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja chromosa) in the nearby Wasatch Mountain Range
Working at the A-frame easel,
Elspeth completes the rosemalling on the frieze panels for each ornamented pilaster.