The richly textured mixed media paintings of Darlene Olivia McElroy reflect the vision of an artist whose involvement with man’s primal origins, sins, and religious conflicts has developed an imagery at once sensuously primitive and startlingly sophisticated.
Weaving through textural surfaces, found objects, and rich symbolism, the viewer is drawn into a visual world where color plays the role of an atmospheric veil encompassing the personal myths of the artist.
McElroy, born and raised in Southern California, is descended from an old New Mexico family of artists and storytellers. She has been deeply influenced by the summers she spent growing up on her family’s ranch in Santa Fe where the rich tapestry of Hispanic life filled the nights and brightly colored the days.
Her paternal grandfather was an artist on Catalina Island who exposed her to art as a life style, introduced her to color and the narrative in art. She currently lives in Santa Fe where she enjoys the skies, the color and the art.
Being a mixed media artist means you have tons of stuff or S.H.I.T. (second hand interesting things). There is a crap shack in the back yard full of wonderful stuff to use in my art. I have to clean it out twice a year because I forget about all the treasures hidden inside. And, yes, because you throw nothing away that can be used in your mixed media art, you become a hoarder. Yikes!
There are usually five or so paintings being worked on at one time in the studio. So it tends to be in a state of continual chaos as well as a mine field of dogs. I have 3 studio dogs which are always sleeping where I am stepping so it can get very exciting. Zola, the fireball, is the fur ball of trouble and starts all the fights while Miz Maisie, the Newfie, take up the most space. Buddy is the youngster that keeps us all busy and is the only dog that I have owned that has a favorite color - PINK.
Adventures and art experiments are always happening in the studio and I love sharing all the new things I am learning. Keep up on all the latest studio news by just signing up for my enewsletter or friending me on Facebook. You will see my latest art, get tips and find out about upcoming workshops and classes.
If you are visiting Santa Fe, stop by La Posada de Santa Fe Resort to see more of my work. My art is throughout the hotel so just ask the concierge for directions. If you are taking a side trip to Madrid, visit Calliope Gallery.
Studio visits are by appointment. Call 505.471.8300.