Elliot Essman
Elliot Essman started oil painting in February of 2018. Challenged and often immobilized by Parkinson’s disease, Elliot signed up for a community art class just to “get out of the house,” and discovered a talent for landscape painting, despite having absolutely no previous artistic experience. Researchers think that the L-Dopa medication Parkinson’s people take to increase their dopamine levels removes inhibitions and opens the creative floodgates. Elliot lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the foot of the towering Sandia Mountains, which form the subject matter for most of his paintings. While Elliot works primarily in oils (and sometimes colored marker pens), he also creates artwork with makeup—eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipliner, lipstick, foundation, concealer, and whatever else he can find on sale or coax out of friends and relatives. “Makeup offers unique textures you don’t get from other media,” Elliot says. “It gives me greater flexibility when I’m working with light.”

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