The Art of Elizabeth Mumford

27 Apr The Art of Elizabeth Mumford

mumfordElizabeth Mumford  grew up on a farm in the Midwest, but spent every summer on Cape Cod and consequently, became an avid sailor and racer. Her paintings have a whimsical style, often with a nautical theme, all  surrounded by her signature black border inscribed with a verse and stenciled in the corners with scallop shells in bronze.

The text reflects the setting, which she paints first, sketching out a rough idea of what each figure is doing to complement the verse.

However, as a painting develops, stories evolve from the actions and settings, and it seems that the painting takes off on its own to tell a story which Liz may not have initially had in mind. Once in a while, she even has to change the words to reflect that development. Her work is included in collections around the country, and will be featured in an upcoming retrospective at the Cahoon Museum of American Art.  See below for details.  

Mumford majored in Fine Arts at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, received her Master of Arts in Teaching at Tulane University in New Orleans, and taught art for nine years in private schools in Indiana and Hawaii.

Mumford_Tribute_SM (3)Her style is influenced by American Folk Art, as well as, Flemish painters of the 16th Century, primarily Breughel. ‘

In an article in Cape Cod Women, Mumford talked about her artistic roots.

“I’m one of those persons who, ever since I was little, I was always painting and drawing and doing artwork,” Liz recalls “Fortunately my mother was very encouraging of me.” But there were not many opportunities to nurture a budding artist in the rural elementary school she attended.

That changed when she was sent to a boarding school in Michigan that possessed a strong art program. At twelve years old, she was all at once immersed in an array of art classes and experiences, including one seemingly innocuous course offering: Life Art.

“We freshmen didn’t know what we signed up for,” noted Liz. “We were a little surprised the first day of class.” Life Art turned out to be live nudes.

“I thought we would be out drawing trees and plants,” she told writer Jane Schaller.

On her life on Cape Cod, she said: “I lived happily here painting. I was lucky; hit it in the early 80s. The economy was doing well, people were buying art and I was painting something new and different.”

Mumford has done a mixture of commissioned paintings and those of her own inclination, the latter of which have been both sold in galleries and through signed and numbered limited prints.

Mumford_BunniesSM (2)Her exhibition begins May 5 and continues through June 25.

·        Friday, May 5 from 5:30 to 7:00pm – Opening reception

·        Friday, May 19, 11:00am – Artist’s Talk “Telling the Story” with Elizabeth Mumford. Talks included in the price of admission: $10 general, $8 seniors & students, free to museum members and children under 12.

·        Tuesday, May 23 from 4:30 – 6:30pm – Wine & Paint Night with Elizabeth Mumford. A special creative evening with the artist.  Enjoy a glass of wine and learn the techniques of creating a painting using stencils and watercolor; no skill required!  All materials including paper, paint and stencils are included. Limited to 15 participants, RSVP required. $75/$65 Members. cmaa@cahoonmuseum.org or 508.428.7581

 A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Cancer Care at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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