Elisa V. Musson
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Biography
Elisa V. Musson was born in Normandy, France in 1953. Her parents not being involved in the art world, it was her grandmother who planted the artistic seed that would develop later in life.
 
Growing up in France, Elisa spent her teenage years studying in Catholic schools, becoming an expert gymnast, and in her spare time visited countless museums and exhibitions. The rich artistic side of the French culture enabled Elisa to build her foundation and develop a love for art, especially classical and impressionist.
 
In 1975, Elisa started her career in computer technology sales, working for Sun MicroSystems. Although she wished to pursue a career in art at the time, she also had more realistic money making goals in mind and decided sales would be a more established direction to take. Throughout the next 20 years, Elisa had a son and a daughter and married her second husband, Paul Musson. Together they moved around the world working in different sections of their company, finally settling in the US.
 
It wasn’t until Elisa retired in 2005 that her love for art resurfaced. After having spent 20 years working in sales, picking up a paint brush and creating something from scratch was definitely a new challenge for the dormant creative right side of her brain.
 
Elisa enrolled in a class, learning the basics of oil painting such as how to draw and the proper techniques to hold a brush and a palette knife.
 
Within a month, Elisa had turned one of her bedrooms into an art studio buying countless art supplies and filling book shelves with countless art books by well-known artists such as John Singer Sargent, William Turner, Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin and Russian Masters, the Barbizon School, the Dutch school and the Hudson River School. Realizing she wanted to commit to painting and grow her craft, she decided to turn what had simply been a hobby into an actual business. Elisa recruited friends and family to help her new company and emerged herself in a more professional education.
 
In 2006, Elisa joined The Art Student League of Denver to build her base of knowledge in classical realism. She studied under world-famous painters Kim English – limits her paintings to 5 minutes forcing the artist to use quick bold brushstrokes and make bold decisions –¬ and Ron Hicks – focuses on the movements of light through the painting.
 
In 2007, Elisa enrolled in a 2 weeks plein-air workshop in Maine with Tim Allen Lawson, famous landscape artist. The workshop compromised of painting outside from 8 am to 4 pm, at which time the group would review the achieved works at Tim’s studio. Elisa particularly loved this as she couldn’t help but be emersed in the landscape and be free of all the distractions that usually creep up into her home studio. She did find many challenges within this however, working with the constantly changing light, the wind blowing dirt and grass onto the canvas.
 
In 2008, Elisa took on an internship in France studying the restoration of historical paintings under curator Mme Lambert. The study focused on learning how to restore paintings from the Old Masters of the 17th and 18th century. She followed her internship by travelling to Florence and Venice to visit classical-realism artwork throughout well-known museums such as Uffizi Museum in Florence.
As a result, Elisa now mixes her own pigments purchased in Italy, France, Germany, Cypres, and "cooks" her painting mediums, following the Old Masters techniques.
 
Having gathered a well-rounded knowledge of different painting techniques, Elisa was now confident in establishing her own style, concentrating on "Classical Realism" and “Alla Prima”. The Classical method, also known as the Indirect method, is characterized by a detailed planning of the overall design which is followed by a layering of opaque and transparent glazes, each layer being left time to dry before adding the next. An example of this method can be seen in “Tomorrow's Promise, Sunrise and Sunset over the Marsh”. This process takes about 9 month to complete. The “Alla Prima” method, also known as the Direct method is characterized by a loose outline of the design and is followed by bold, expressive brushwork and a textured surface. Her flowers and Plein Air paintings illustrate this technique.
More recently, Elisa turned towards a more impressionistic style to answer to the demand of California style with an Alla Prima look and impasto technic, thick patches of paint.
 
Elisa continuously strives to become a more advanced painter by exploring new methods and techniques, throwing herself challenges whenever she feels complacent.
In October 2013, Elisa followed a workshop with Master Ruo Li for a better skill in painting seascapes.
Seascapes and still life, particularly roses due to high demand, have been her major focus in 2014 and 2015.
 
 Elisa and her husband currently live in Healdsburg in Northern California. She finds inspiration in the countless wine vineyards and the views of the Pacific Ocean lying in the San Francisco Bay.
 
Currently Elisa shows her work at White Oak Art Winery in Healdsburg, CA, where you can enjoy some wine tasting while browsing her artwork.Other representations include in Healdsburg Gina's boutique, Camelia Inn B&B, as well as online at www.etsy.com
 
Elisa teaches painting to Foster Childlren in Snoma County and supports Charity fundraising organizations with her live paintings events.
 
In addition to taking on custom orders and selling her artwork, Elisa is now offering one on one painting classes to the public, from novice to advanced levels.
Please refer to the website for a gallery of her work and email at info@elisamusson.com for more information.
 
 
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