Elisabeth Howlett

Elisabeth Howlett

  • Artist’s Statement

    I am coming up to 10 years in professional art practice. I work from my home studio in the Adelaide foothills, near a conservation park and bushland. Following a legal career focussing on the conservation of nature, I have dedicated much of my art practice to painting flowering Australian natives. Partly this is because I have grown to adore them. But mostly I paint Australian natives because they are whole. They don’t explain who they are. They are of the ancients. I love how their forms are of the earth. Out of the dirt grows something so distinctive. They arrive at the right time, without comment. No one tells them to be there. They just belong. And they are free.

    Where I live I am surrounded by native plants and flowers. I enjoy foraging local wildflowers. I formulate them into sculptural arrangements. I take a lot of photographs. I begin by drawing my subject in charcoal, and often proceed to underpainting in washy acrylic. I paint the final layer with thickened oil paint. I apply generous quantities of impasto oil paint to describe the forms of native plants and their flowers. My intention is to describe them in an expressive and unexpected way, emphasising the impression made by each brushstroke. For this reason, my paintings are highly textured, bearing sculptural elements.

    Native flowers can tell you some ancient stories. They can tell some tales. Their story is their own. It belongs to them. They don’t care what anyone thinks. They are magnificent for their effortless grace, their messy grandeur and their timeless shapes. And though they be small or large in stature, they are magnificent for their inherent dignity.

  • Biography

    Elisabeth Howlett makes expressive portraits of flowering Australian flora. Her love of native Australian flowers is clearly evident. Her work is about the forms of these plants, their ancient personage. Elisabeth is enamoured by the unapologetic forms of native flora, their ancient shapes and crazy leaves that splay out in all directions. To her, natives hold elegance, poise and unassuming timeless beauty. Elisabeth wishes to capture the effortless grace and dignity inherent in native plants and flowers.

    Elisabeth enjoys foraging local wildflowers and formulating them into sculptural arrangements. Next is photographing, drawing in charcoal, often underpainting in acrylic, and finally, painting the outer final layer in oil on canvas. Elisabeth describes her subjects with vivid, deliberate brushstrokes laden with impasto oil. She applies generous quantities of impasto oil paint to describe her chosen subject. She describes the form of her chosen subject matter expressively and unexpectedly, emphasising the impression made by each brushstroke. Elisabeth’s paintings are highly textured, owing to the application of thick oil paint.

    Prior to being an artist, Elisabeth worked as a lawyer. She spent the majority of her 15 year legal career on matters impacting the natural environment. The last project Elisabeth undertook was an assessment of the laws impacting the conservation of native flora and fauna in South Australia. The protection of nature conservation in the legal sphere had a lasting impact, fostering Elisabeth’s love of native plants and flowers.

    Elisabeth has worked as an artist for the last 10 years. She has held 3 solo exhibitions, and has taken part in many group exhibitions locally and interstate. Elisabeth has worked as an artist in residence in councils and schools, and conducts online art classes with adults. She is married to Simon and has 2 children, Alice and Sam. The Adelaide foothills where the Howlett’s reside provides the perfect daily inspiration for Elisabeth’s art practice.

  • Awards

    Commenced studies at the Adelaide Central School of Art in 2021
    Online Art Class for new artists released in 2020
    Mentoring art classes received at Duthy Street Art, 2017
    Judges Merit Award received at the Goolwa Art & Photographic Exhibition March 2016
    Studies in Linocarving with Christine McCarthy at Ruth Tuck Art School, 2004 - 2008

  • Exhibitions

    Flora Australis at Art Images Gallery, July 2022
    Urban Bloom at The Ark Clothing Co, August, 2018
    In Full Bloom at Adelaide Botanic Garden August, 2016

    Spring Jardin - Falling Flowers, at Grainger Gallery, Canberra, 2023
    Friday Fridas at Art Images Gallery, Norwood, SALA, 2023
    New Two at Artworx Gallery, Goolwa, SALA 2023
    Inverell Contemporary, May 2022
    Allure at Artworx Gallery, Goolwa October, 2021
    Inside / Outside, at Art Images Gallery, Norwood August 2021
    Moree Gallery, NSW, 2020 onwards
    Go Van Gogh at Art Images Gallery, Norwood, August, SALA, 2019
    Saint Ignatius Art Show and Kimba Art Show, 2019
    Inverell Contemporary Exhibition at Inverell Art Gallery, May 2018
    Inverell Art Prize 2018 at Inverell Art Gallery, 2018 and 2019
    - Still Amazing at Art Images Gallery August, 2018 for SALA
    A Few of my Favourite Things at Duthy Street Art, December 2017
    Florish at the National Wine Centre, March 2017
    Loreto Spring Art, various years (my first art exhibition)

  • Website


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