Elise Wehle

All photos courtesy of the artist’s website

How could anyone look at Utah-based artist Elise Wehle’s work and NOT fall in love at first sight? In reading her bio on her website, I discovered that she was born just over an hour away from where I currently live. Talk about a small world! It was on a trip to Spain that Wehle became enamored with intricately carved designs on ancient structures. This experience directly influenced her shift to the work you see here.

Her designs are often inspired by sacred objects such as illuminated manuscripts and cathedrals. These designs lay over the underlying imagery, changing how we see it. Wehle says that these designs represent the spiritual (and often inexplicable) experiences that are often dismissed. These experiences alter our view of the visible/known environment by obstructing parts.

Discussion for Kids

  • When you first looked at Wehle’s work, did you notice the image or the pattern first?

  • Wehle describes the process of carving her designs as meditation. To try this yourself, start by drawing whichever geometric shapes come to mindshapes on paper. Let one shape lead you to the next. Repeat until the paper is full, then reflect on the questions below:

    • Did you create a pattern?

    • Were you able to relax and let go of expectations while drawing?

    • Would you try this again?





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