Louisa McElwain was a resident of New Mexico since 1985. She was a plein-air artist, an impressionist, who loved to paint the New Mexico sky and landscape. Louisa McElwain stated that "During the process of painting large canvases outdoors, the interaction with Nature introduces insects, particles of plants and soil into the paint. To acknowledge the simultaneous levels of reality which surround me, I sometimes deliberately introduce elements into the paint like bits of broken beer bottle, bone, fur, or charred wood. Anything stuck to the motif, the images, the illusions, the beauty of landscape, I never want to forget that what I am looking at is paint on canvas."
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