Spotlight Story: Meet artist Elizabeth Higgins
Local Bridge Meadows artist
When Elizabeth Higgins began taking watercolor classes at a community arts center seven years ago, something stirred. “Almost immediately,” she says, “I knew that I had found my passion.” Even as someone who had always loved learning and who cherished new ideas, as someone already well acquainted with several art forms, including drawing, writing, photography and book arts – watercolor was different. It had something special about it that spoke deeply to Higgins.
So, she followed the call and dove in, developing her new craft both by taking classes and by giving herself the space and permission to explore possibilities and potentials without judgment. “I was not afraid to paint as much as possible, and let mistakes happen as I learned and developed from them.” Higgins says. The classes and devotion paid off, as did her involvement with the Village Gallery of Arts in Cedar Mill, a nonprofit cooperative art gallery with a strong, supportive membership community.
Elizabeth is now a teaching artist herself, nurturing artists of all ages along their paths of self-expression and creative discovery – reciprocating the encouragement that she received along her own journey. “Teaching always inspires me,” she says, “because it validates the joy that comes from creating. When I see my students happily painting, I am reminded of the happiness it brings me, and I am inspired to keep making art important in the lives of our youth.” With her youngest students, Higgins is “constantly amazed by their ability to create unfettered by judgment or thoughts of what makes art good or right.”
Higgins leads by example in her organic, fluid process of inspiration. She is constantly inspired by shape and color, and finds purpose in expressing herself through the bold use of watercolor pigments. Painting is playful and joyful for her, and these are the feelings she hopes to instill in others.
Raised in Virginia, Elizabeth has lived in the Portland area since 1995. She teaches children and adult art classes for various cultural organizations, and is a juried member of Watercolor Society of Oregon. Her art is available for purchase on-line and at Catherine Bede Gallery in Hillsboro, Oregon. She has been a member of Village Gallery of Arts since 2011, serving on the Board of Directors as Publicity Chair in 2013-2014. She paints regularly at her studio at East Creative Collective in SE Portland, just a few blocks away from OMSI.
You may learn more about Elizabeth, her art and her classes at www.elizabethmhiggins.com. Portions of this article were excerpted from the Winter/Spring 2018 issue of HillsboroARTS Magazine. Bridge Meadows, 5995 SW Menlo Dr. in Beaverton