Lucy Blake-Elahi

Artist Statement

Getting “physical” with gesture in line, shape and color, I look for the feeling of being inside what I am painting.

What interests me about making art is partly the process of the physical gesture, the trace it makes on the surface, what it reveals to me about my thoughts/feelings and, later, what the viewer receives/perceives.

Subject matter has been said to be: “the bone the artist throws to the guard dog in order to enter the studio.” With permission granted, I work through content in series—sometimes led by the feeling/idea, other times by the process of painting itself.

I have been working on birch panel and using rough, sandy textures; collage; and acrylic paint. Through brushing, wiping, sanding and scraping paint, the surface reveals the active process of editing and refining. When I am lucky, the work emits the sense of exhilaration of the process while providing hints of the original impetus.


1964 MS Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
1962 BS State University of New York, New Paltz


An artist engaged in both public art commissions and painting, Lucy Blake-Elahi has taught art at UCLA’s Graduate Art Education Department and currently teaches art history at West Los Angeles College in Culver City, CA. She was the Artist-in-Residence in Yellowstone National Park for three summers and has long been involved with local community art and environmental concerns.

When exhibiting her recent series titled The Rape of the Sumerians: Looting the Iraq Museum, she sent copies of the images to Professor Donny George Youkhanna, who had been Director of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad for 30 years (until 2004). He wrote of Blake-Elahi’s work: “After seeing your works of art about the looting of the museum, I feel we are very close, as if you have personalized my feelings. Thank you very much for this noble [work].”

Her paintings have been exhibited internationally and are in the collections of Aaron Spelling Productions, Los Angeles; Universal Studios, Orlando, FL; Gibraltar Savings and Loan Corporation, Los Angeles; and Dr. Samella Lewis, Los Angeles.