Elizabeth McAlpin

Born in New York City; Currently lives and works in New York City

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Currently, I work with mixed media using various techniques on paper. I layer textures, patterns, etchings, drawings, photographs, paint, as well as thread and stencil on paper.

The subject within a piece of work or across many works is a mix of realistic, symbolic, and abstract imagery that work together to tell a narrative. Each piece has a story and there are often common threads across works. When I am drawn to an object or concept it is usually connected to my subconscious. It draws out my subconscious. I explore it for the established significance and how it may connect with my internal states or interests. Through research and art making, I uncover my subconscious language. I document the signs and symbols in the artwork like a timeline; a timeline that may not be linear as my mind reflects on the past, present, and future. The process is an investigation of the self as it engages with the world.

Often, I have several ideas slowly cooking on different burners at once. Sometimes I combine techniques such as etching, collage, monotype, lithography, painting, and collograph to work out the idea. Other times, I focus on using  just one technique to convey or uncover the message. From the various media and techniques I create works on paper that either stand alone or become raw material for collages.  Over time the works in progress connect to each other whether it is through shared materials, forms, color, or marks. The narrative of the self evolves within and between the works.

Creating works on paper, in particular, is very freeing. What I like about working on paper is that while it requires some planning and preparation, but the plan inevitably changes as the process unfolds. It takes on its own direction and form as it draws from my consciousness. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls this the flow state.  It is a state that usually occurs when your ” body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” When I am working I feel this internal struggle to let go and control at the same time. That is the stretching of the mind. You keep asking yourself, what does it need? is it finished? maybe, not sure.

My work comes out with intensity to unload inner accumulations of thoughts, feelings, moods, and experiences. What manifests is a narrative about these oscillating internal states. The next piece is an unknown variable as it transforms and evolves through the process. The narrative continues and the plot thickens.


I studied with various mentors in the U.S. and abroad. My creative path started when I moved to New Mexico in 1991. I practiced old master painting and drawing with Tony & Celeste Ryder for many years in New Mexico. During the same period, I completed several six month intensive sessions with their mentor, Ted Jacobs, at L’Ecole Albert DeFois, in France. Splitting my time, six months in France and six months in New Mexico, I worked rigorously to develop my skills. I saw this classical & traditional style as a means to develop tools in a tool box or learning a particular language of seeing. But just as there are many languages, ways to communicate, so are there many ways to see. In 1997 I moved back to New York City in order to develop my own visual narrative. In New York City, I worked as a muralist and freelance artist while also focusing on the development of an inner dialogue.  While living and working in New York, I took an interest in printmaking. Over the years, I practiced with various master printmakers in order to incorporate other methods and processes into my work. I continue to practice printmaking processes as well as other methods and mediums to convey the visual messages.

Please also visit/follow           _eternal_narrative_        on instagram. 


The Manhattan Graphic Center, New York, N.Y.

  • (2019) Fred Mershimer (Etching)
  • (2019) Gerry Wall (Threading)
  • (2018; 2019) Arnold Brooks (Lithography)
  • (2018) Bill Gauthier (Gilding on Paper)
  • (2018) Lisa Mackie (Mixed Media)

Galisteo Street Studio, Santa Fe, N.M.

  • (2018) Ron Pokrasso (Layers & Plates)
  • (2017) Ron Pokrasso (Layers & Plates)

Lower Eastside Printshop, New York, N.Y.

  • (2017) Karen Lederer (Monotype)
  • (2010) Sarah Nicole Phillips (Monotype)
  • (2004) Randy Hemminghaus (Etching)

Center for Contemporary Printmaking, South Norwalk, C.T.

  • (2004; 2009) Anthony Kirk (Etching; Monotype)
  • (2004) Dan Weldon (Solarplate)

L’Ecole Albert Defois, France

  • (1993-1998) Ted Seth Jacobs

Ryder Studio, Santa Fe, N.M.

  • (1993-1998) Anthony & Celeste Ryder

Private Collections and Commissions: New York, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Mexico, Australia, France

Exhibitions (Group)

2020 Under Pressure, The Lincoln Center, For Collins, CO [Juried] Second Prize Winner

2020 Pulling Prints, DVAA gallery, Narrowsburg, NY

2020 Ink: New Prints, Site: Brooklyn Gallery, Brooklyn, NY [Juried]

2020 New Year, New Visions, Stern Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe, NM [Juried]

2019 Solar Impressions Exhibition, Southampton Arts Center, Sag Harbor, NY [Juried] [Press by Southampton]

2019 Fall Salon, The Factory Gallery LIC, NY, NY

2019 Fall Open Call, Greenpoint Gallery, NY, NY

2019 Beach Elements V, sTudio gallery 7, Fort Tilden, NY [Press by The Wave] [Catalog]

2019 Made in 1969, DVAA gallery, Narrowsburg, NY

2019 Fiber as Metaphor, galleryFritz, Santa Fe, NM [Juried]

2019 The Crow Show, The Studio Door, San Diego, CA [Juried]

2019 Pairings, Plaxall Gallery, Long Island City, NY [Catalog]

2019 Threads: Printmaking Meets Needle, Manhattan Graphics Center, NY, NY

2018 Paperview, Westbeth Gallery, NY, NY

2004-2015 Monothon Fund Raiser, Center for Contemporary Printmaking, CT

1995 Portraiture, Galerie des Commenceaux, Anjou France

Related Work

1997-2010 Freelance and Commission Artist, New York, NY

1997-1999 Mural Artist, Evergreene Architectural Arts, New York, NY

Life is busy when you are just trying to survive and still do what your soul craves and loves. I currently work as an educational media designer, researcher, and adjunct faculty at NYU http://elizabethmcalpin.hosting.nyu.edu/.

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