Elizabeth Gourlay was born in New London, Connecticut. After a fellowship at the Yale/Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art, Elizabeth went on to receive a BA with First Class Honors from Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland and an MFA in Painting from Yale University School of Art. Her work has been shown extensively throughout the United States and she is the recipient of numerous residencies, fellowships and awards including 2 Individual Artists Grants from the CT Office of the Arts.
Gourlay’s work has been written about in The New Criterion, Painters’ Table, Gorky’s Granddaughter and most recently in the Art blog, In Their Studios. Gourlay’s work has been shown nationally and internationally, most notably at The Drawing Center, MASS MoCA, The Cummings Arts Center at Connecticut College, The Hecksher Museum and The Widener Gallery at Trinity College. She currently has a solo exhibition in the newly renovated Landers House at the New Britain Museum of American Art until January, 2023. Her work is represented by Kenise Barnes Fine Art in Kent, CT, Cynthia Winings Gallery, Blue Hill, Maine and IdeelArt, London, England. She has lived and worked in Scotland, England, Italy and
New York City. Gourlay has taught at Suffolk County Community College (SUNY), Connecticut College, the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts and currently teaches Applied Color in Continuing Ed at The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
I approach drawing, collage, painting and printmaking as an exploration of color and form. My collages are created from found and painted paper pieces, cut and arranged in playful, ordered, or chaotic ways. These works are the starting point for gouache paintings, monotype prints and larger works which evolve gradually as I work with changes in scale, color, light, and shape. I recognize many influences to my visual thinking. I can sense some from the house I grew up in, designed by my father, and in turn with influences ranging from Japanese design to the Bauhaus. Similar early influences have come from studying artists, architecture, and textiles from different cultures. There is a continuous and eclectic threading of ideas that reflects these interests and the explorations of my vocabulary of bars, lines, colors, and shapes. It is my hope that these forms and colors evoke the emotional as they present the viewer with an opening to a cultural but also a personal and purely abstract experience.