Elizabeth King Stanton’s recent exhibition at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery’s “Future Fair” booth offers a captivating glimpse into the life of a mother and artist. Stanton’s work is a vivid portrayal of her experiences with her three-year-old daughter, blending moments of chaos and calm with a masterful use of color and pattern. Her paintings, such as “Nursery School” and “7:26PM,” capture the dynamic and often contradictory nature of motherhood, where busy and slow, bold and cautious coexist harmoniously. The intricate layering of paint in her compositions creates a sense of depth within movement, inviting viewers to explore the stories embedded within each piece.

Stanton’s artistic journey is deeply influenced by her role as a mother, and this is evident in the themes she chooses to depict. From playful scenes of her daughter’s favorite toys to the delicate balance of daily chores, her paintings resonate with a sense of familiarity. 

7:26 PM, Rain Enthusiasts, Elizabeth King Stanton
Left: 7:26 PM
Elizabeth King Stanton, 2024.
Acrylic and flashe on canvas stretched on wood panel.
16 × 12 in.

Right: Rain Enthusiasts
Elizabeth King Stanton, 2024.
Acrylic and flashe on canvas stretched on wood panel.
16 × 12 in.
Installation view.
Installation view at Future Fair.
Courtesy of Abigail Ogilvy Gallery.

Tell us a little about your works, which we could see at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery’s “Future Fair” booth this year. 

Elizabeth King Stanton: The paintings that were included at “Future Fair” are about life with a three-year-old. My days with my daughter are a wonderful blend of contradictions: busy and slow, bold and cautious, unpredictable and repetitive. My recent paintings mirror these contradictions. “Nursery School,” for example, has bright colors and graphic patterns, which are quite flashy and loud, while the scene of the daughter mirroring her mom in the garden feels tender and quiet. My favorite piece in this batch of paintings is “7:26PM.” This embodies the total chaos followed by the calm of our nightly bedtime routine. 

What was your favorite booth to visit or who was your favorite artist this year at FF and why? 

Elizabeth King Stanton: Eva Yurkova at newcube—I love that her work references printmaking. She had a piece at “Future Fair” titled “Pansy (Flame),” which was painted on a piece of wood that she then carved marks into as if it were a woodcut block. I love the play between flatness and depth. The body was reduced to flat swaths of color, which was then disrupted by the delicately painted flowers in the front. I think a lot about collapsing space in my own work, and this piece really embodied that for me. 

Eliza Wagener at IRL Gallery—I spent a long time getting lost in her airy paintings. I loved that these paintings have such immediate allure with their bold, bright color, and the more I looked at them, the more they disappeared. Her paintings felt like just a whisper of a story, as if I was recalling a memory. The paintings radiated such an internal light that I really admired. 

My daughter is deeply obsessed with pigs. I once painted her stuffed pig, Plig, in a painting, and she absolutely beamed with pride. It was as if Plig became famous and immortalized in the painting. Since then, I have featured many of her pigs, per her request.

Your current work is informed by being a mother of a toddler: to-do lists and humorous domestic scenes “frozen mid-chore.” How do you see your art changing as your daughter grows? 

Elizabeth King Stanton: For many years, my paintings have been about relationships. My paintings currently highlight my relationship with my daughter. My hope is that as my relationship with my daughter grows and shifts, I’ll be able to capture that as well. My paintings might return to focusing on other relationships as well. Before my daughter was born, I mostly painted about female friendships. I imagine I might return to painting more about friendship as my daughter becomes more independent and develops friendships of her own.

Do you ever include your daughter’s opinions or reactions during the creation of your paintings? If so, how does her perspective influence your work? 

Elizabeth King Stanton: My daughter is deeply obsessed with pigs. I once painted her stuffed pig, Plig, in a painting, and she absolutely beamed with pride. It was as if Plig became famous and immortalized in the painting. Since then, I have featured many of her pigs, per her request. The paintings have sort of become a scrapbook to remember the toys and books that are so important in our world at the moment. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about quilts lately. I like that they represent comfort and something familiar and often tell a story. Visually, I love that quilts can be built by placing unlikely colors, textures, and patterns next to one another.

Can you walk us through your process of layering paint to create the delicate screens and patchwork-like compositions in your work? 

Elizabeth King Stanton: I’ve been thinking a lot about quilts lately. I like that they represent comfort and something familiar and often tell a story. Visually, I love that quilts can be built by placing unlikely colors, textures, and patterns next to one another. I usually start with thinner washes of paint and add more opaque layers on top, leaving snippets of the original color peeking through. These are the parts of the painting that I think of as my “screen doors,” which allow “air” to continue to flow in and out of the painting.

I have the tendency to keep adding new layers of color on top of the painting because I love being in the middle of a painting and seeing how new colors respond to one another. This screen door rule helps keep me in check. 

What are you working on next? 

Elizabeth King Stanton: Now that we’re spending more time outside this summer, I’m thinking about some beach and garden paintings!

Featured image:
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Elizabeth King Stanton, 2024.
Acrylic and flashe on canvas.
36 × 30 in.