THE GOLDEN EGG WRITTEN BY MEGIN POTTER PHOTOS PROVIDED
ust as sound breaks the silence - to create something new, what came before must first be broken. Both the before and after can be beautiful, but it is between the two where bravery lives.
Artist Elisa Sheehan sees the golden possibilities in these broken places. FRAGILE BEGINNINGS To break into the fine arts, Elisa Sheehan left her successful design business. “We were in no way financially able to do what I did. It was not a safe bet. I just went all in. It was a really fragile thing to say, ‘I’m an artist’. No one knew me and I really didn’t have a clear path forward,” she said. Moving away from Boston’s urban pace, Sheehan relocated to Saratoga Springs and founded Lis Design in 2004 to provide graphic and web design services. She became a mother of two children (now ages 9 and 7 years old) and moved to a house in the country. Her connection to nature deepened so that by 2017, she was inspired to pursue a career dedicated to expressing the art of this connection.
108 | SIMPLY SARATOGA | FALL 2019
“To me, it’s about what it feels like to be in nature. It really fuels me. It’s a necessary part of my life,” said Sheehan. HONORING THE ADVENTURE Sheehan’s gutsiness can be felt through her botanical abstract art. Sweeping, expressive brush strokes swish across huge canvases. Working in her light-drenched home studio during the early morning hours, she moves around the large pieces laying on the ground, bending over them to aggressively apply the muted colors. “I like the sound of the brush on the canvas – the rhythm of that feels really good, like the constant push and pull of nature,” said Sheehan. These pieces have been hung in residential, corporate, and public spaces, such as hospitals, because of their healing presence. “People are feeling something when they look at it and that’s what makes it a success. They feel peaceful, grounded, comforted. Certain natural colors reduce our stress by a significant amount, and the shapes all add to that stress relief,” she said.