Born into an artistic family, Elsbeth McLeod began drawing at an early age. A human skull that her mother owned and the family had named Demetria taught Elsbeth the foundations of facial expression. Demetria occupies her studio to this day as a constant anatomical consultant.
A career that began with selling paintings to college roommates, accelerated in 1977 as Elsbeth found success painting multi-generational portraits in Boston, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Eventually Elsbeth built a studio in Poulsbo, Washington, where she made a long-term interest in clay sculpting a career reality. Before long, Elsbeth began creating pieces that more and more expressed her spiritual outlook and she relinquished control on the outcome of her sculpture to a compelling inner prompting. Limiting the design phase of her work and trusting instinct produced a series of pieces that seemed to sculpt themselves. She began to earn herself a body of enthusiastic West Coast as well as international collectors. In 1999 Elsbeth cast her first works in bronze, meeting with immediate success, and in 2009 began to put her accumulated skills into creating a line of silver, bronze and copper jewelry-sized sculpture.
I have never pre-designed a sculpted face. I am as surprised by the result as anyone. As I pound the clay into the shape of a head or carve the wax original for a pendant, the personality seems to emerge between us and influence the slope of the forehead, the shape of the eyes, the age, and the gender. Often a composite of ethnicities, the face reveals itself gradually with each stroke of the tool. Within the last few years my figures have simplified, become streamlined, removing distraction from the facial features. Gesture, texture and form, simplified, are my guidelines.