Liz Tran | Painter

Photo of Liz Tran

Cornish College of the Arts alumna Liz Tran (’02 Art) loves trees, plain and simple.  She grew up climbing them as her personal escape from the world.  Growing up in Eugene Oregon, Liz helped her family’s boat building business by sweeping up wood shavings and thus began a wonderful career of getting her hands dirty.  A self proclaimed lifelong student, Liz is always trying something new:  a new material, a new technique, a new way to look at trees.

Liz felt a strong pull not only to Seattle, but specifically to Cornish.   It was at Cornish that Liz developed a strong emphasis on materials.  Her love of trees transcends into the materials she uses to tell her story: wood panels, paper and wood carving techniques being a few.  Liz thinks of trees as portraiture instead of still life, “very anthropomorphized” says Liz.

“Cornish wasn’t what I thought it would be, but it was what I needed.  It gave me permission to be free in my work.”

Liz has exhibited all over the east and west coast as well as internationally including Marnay sur Seine, France and Shenzhen, China.  Her work will be featured in New Views at Laura Russo Gallery in Portland, Oregon, January 6 through 29, 2011. Funding for the exhibition is provided by the Carl and Hilda Morris Foundation.

She is currently represented at Bonner David Galleries in Scottsdale Arizona and the Seattle Art Museum Gallery in Seattle Washington..

Artist’s Statement: Bonner David Galleries

”Tree Party” is a series of mixed media paintings inspired by living in the Pacific Northwest that uses my surroundings as a platform for creating colorful, imaginative and hopeful work.  The paintings are inspired by the local nature and are a reaction against the lengthy, dark and wet winters of Seattle (my hometown).  In my basement studio I create works that push back against the constant gray with an explosion of candy colored scenes.

Intuition is my guide as my paintings provide an escape from the regular world.  I enter a painting without conscious preconceptions of what the work should be. What emerge are snapshots of an imaginary world.  I create environments in which I want to live (or at least spend the winter in).

Over the past eight years I have developed a unique form of mixed media painting.  The paintings are composed of ink, acrylic, graphite and layers of Japanese paper, mounted onto panel, and then covered with a layer of beeswax using a hot iron.  Often times I will carve into the surface, revealing the layers of painting underneath.  Elements from my original prints and sketches are often added during the final stages of ”painting”.

Photo: Liz Tran, photo by Desiree Haigh (Cornish alum, Art ’02)