Hey everyone, welcome back to another installment of the Meet the Artist Series. We are hoping this series is providing you some relief, especially during these unprecedented times. This week our series features Elizabeth Washburn, one of our latest artists to join the gallery. So, find a relaxing place to sit and spend the next few minutes learning more about the artist.
Elizabeth grew up in Kansas, about a mile from the state line and 25 minutes from KC, MO. She was blessed with a good family who, from the beginning, supported her artistic aspirations. As a child, Elizabeth enjoyed taking long walks along a creek that was close to her home. Looking back, Elizabeth states, “…kids could go off and adventure for hours without worrying about predators or crime. It was a very special time, lots of freedom.”
When Elizabeth was 13 years old, she visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with her parents. It was a Van Gogh painting featured in a Post-Impressionist exhibit that enraptured her. That’s when Elizabeth knew she wanted to be a painter.
After graduation from Blue Valley North High School, Elizabeth moved to San Francisco to study at the Academy of Art University where she received her B.F.A. Then she began working as a painter at a San Francisco mural company. Next, Elizabeth moved to NYC to pursue a career as a free-lance artist.
A year after her move to NYC, Elizabeth was hired to paint murals for a client in Cairo, Egypt; where she ended up working and living for 18 months. While abroad, Elizabeth traveled around North Africa and became influenced by the architectural, cultural, and natural wonders of the area.
Elizabeth returned to the states in 2000 and moved back to California. In San Diego, she continued her studies and received a Master’s degree from the Laguna College of Art and Design. She also began exhibiting at many galleries and museums throughout Southern California.
In 2010, Elizabeth founded the Combat Arts of San Diego, a nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic art programs for post-011 combat veterans and teens incarcerated in Juvenile Hall.
Today Combat Arts is a thriving entity that has allowed Elizabeth to focus back on her own artwork. According to Elizabeth, “Nature is always woven in because I find therapeutic relief from including natural elements in my work. Nature is a real healer for me.” Her work is always evolving that is developed within the self, to create art that is personally and socially relevant. This, along with her experience as a Kansas native, enables Elizabeth to use her creativity to escape the rat race of urban life.