Creating and exploring art is an important part of Elise Spaid-Robert’s life.

“It is the way in which I express myself, and relate the world around me,” said Spaid-Roberts, River City Art Association’s April artist of the month at the Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute.

Spaid-Roberts works with a variety of media including charcoal, chalk pastels and graphite.

“Most of my work is done with acrylic and watercolor paint,” she said. “These mediums allow me to explore different textures and change the amount of control I have over the media.”

Most recently, Spaid-Roberts has been experimenting with different styles and techniques. “Especially in my painting,” she said. “I slowly build up layer by layer to create the image I want. I will often experiment and end up with a completely different image from what I originally planned in my mind.

“That is the fun of art and learning to not get caught up in perfection.”

Spaid-Roberts earned her degree in art from Indiana State University in 2011.

“After graduating, I spent some time in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland meeting Gaidhlig language speakers there,” she added. “My experiences and memories of the landscape left an inescapable impact on me.

“I often turn to those memories, the ocean and mountains as part of the inspiration in my paintings. Recently, I have been striving to work more with contrast and light and shadows in nature as well.”

Blackout poetry is an art form Spaid-Roberts discovered while in college.

“I have continued to do projects in blackout poetry by making an entire book of blackout poems. It is a time consuming and meticulous way of creating,” she noted.

“The visual style and concept of turning a page of text into something completely new and different is powerful to me. I look for words and phrases that stand out to me, then build my own phrase from those words.

“I have to be careful when making my final marks to not cover a word I need because once the marker is used, there is no going back.

“This can leave me agonizing over what to keep or mark over.

“One word can change the meaning of everything on the page. It makes me realize the importance of choosing words wisely and their impact on others.”

Spaid-Roberts’ library display can be viewed through April 30. She also has artwork featured in River City’s spring art exhibit through May 30 in Moench Hall at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Membership in RCAA is open to Indiana and Illinois artists age 18 and older. Meetings begin at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the library at Seventh and Poplar streets.

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