Forty years ago Elsa Rabin accidentally became interested, with some success, in painting portraits and animals but she found it an expensive hobby. However her interest continued on the discovery of Steven Parrish’ photos of Australia which she found inspirational. She sought permission from him to use his photos as a starting point and this was granted.
Elsa’s journey to her current style has been an eclectic one through a love of sewing, embroidery, knitting, making dolls, painting, breeding dogs, creating exclusive dog collars sold around the world and back to painting.
Now at 80 years of age, surrounded by the detritus of all these beautiful hobbies, she received a gift of paints and canvasses from her children so began painting again. She believes she has now more than 50 recent works of Art to her name.
Elsa draws her inspiration from anything…photos, the internet, friends, family but specifically on looking from a window after her husband passed away she sighted a remarkable Smoke Bush that caught her imagination and inspired her to put paint to canvas.
While she describes her style as haphazard, Elsa has completed some classes with Dave Thomas and developed a clear process for each work of Art. She always prepares her canvas with acrylic first because of the faster drying time then paints in oils. Her careful preparation has won her numerous minor prizes and a major one, a first at the New South Wales Canine Council Arts Competition. This was for ‘Chinese Crested Dog, an oil on board painting.
Although Elsa has only just begun painting again she is already looking forward to new directions and hopes to try larger works that her current 23 centimetre square frames.