Title: Drunken Boats and Houses, 1990 Artist: Elaine Harrison Description: Acrylic on canvas. Image measures 22 x 28". Signed and dated (3-10-90) bottom right. Signed, titled, and dated on stretcher verso. Frame measures 26 x 32".
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Elaine Harrison (1915-2003) spent most of her working life as a teacher in Summerside. Although she was with the PEI Art Society in the 1950s, it wasn’t until her retirement from teaching in 1968 that she devoted most of her time to writing, and painting. She was inspired by the work of the Group of Seven and iconic artists such as Tom Thomson and Emily Carr. Over time, Harrison’s painting style evolved. In later years, she rarely used brushes, preferring to apply paint with a pallet knife. Harrison's works are vigorous, direct, colourful, abstracted impressions of her favourite subjects: the red cliffs and shorelines near her summer home in Fernwood; the stands of hardwood trees near her home in Bedeque, PEI; Island harbours; and her many cats. A retrospective exhibition entitled, Elaine Harrison: I Am an Island That Dreams, was held in the Art Gallery of the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown in 2011/12.