(View Artwork by Shirley Elias)
Shirley Elias first made her mark as an artistic force as a concert pianist with performances across Canada, frequent broadcasts on CBC's Radio Two and the recording of three CD's. She also earned the sobriquet 'Piano Woman' during New Music Festival performances with Maestro Bramwell Tovey and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO).
Her current incarnation as painter finds her marrying the art forms in works that often feature abstract music themes in bold strokes and colours. Her exceptional skill in capturing moments or movements of music and bringing them to life on canvas, has led to a high demand for her work, with more than ninety private commissions to date including recent ones to Florence, Italy.
Some of those who have commissioned her work include Canadian opera sensation Jean Stilwell, WSO Concertmaster Gwen Hoebig, composer Randolph Peters, and novelist Arthur Motyer (The Staircase Letters), who describes Elias's paintings as 'vital and colourful forms that sing'.
Stilwell, who has been accompanied by Elias on piano in performance, said, "Not one of her paintings is without exquisite colour, passionate energy, committed detailing and a fabulous sense of humour."
In her own words:
"My art is about communicating with colour and composition. As a concert pianist my performances were about connecting with an audience from stage, using colours of sound within a structured musical framework. My work as a painter is based on a similar principle, as I aspire to communicate with colours on canvas; vibrant colours presented in a detailed and balanced composition. I am directed by the flow and rhythm of the colours and design. Just as one's ear is constantly stimulated in a concert setting, I now strive to keep the viewer's eyes engaged and moving across the painting."
Exhibitions at RendezVous:
Lines And Colours, 2012