digital art

graphic design

Elliott's digital art stretches boundaries of photography

If surrealist Salvador Dali and photographer Ansel Adams went on a psychedelic spree, the result might remind you of the edgy work of Manchester digital artist Lynda Elliott.

The 35-year-old Chocorua native and 1987 Kennett High School grad rediscovered her heart's desire after losing her job in the printing industry a couple of years ago.

"After 12 years in the business, my skills had become obsolete. So many printing companies are switching over to computer from plate," says Elliott. "Once I got laid off I had a lot of time on my hands. I was looking for jobs and pursuing my photography."

She had become a shutter bug at age 10, around the same time she was developing fine art skills through private lessons. But over the years she'd never considered combining the two mediums.

Instead she got her degree in graphic arts from New Hampshire Technical College and followed a career path in the practical world of printing.

It wasn't until she got some computer training at Pioneer Computer School, by way of the state unemployment office, that the synthesis of fine art and photography produced a clear picture of her destiny.

"I just love it. It's fun and I get lost in it. I was just really shocked at my success, I had a lot of encouragement right off the bat," she says. "I would love to do this for a living, but I know it's going to take some time to get my name out there."

So far she's off and running.

Elliott took first place in photography during Manchester Artist Association's September Art in the Park show. She was also named October's artist of the month by the local artists group.

As she explains it, her work begins with a digital photo. The creative leap, from photograph to graphic art image, is the process Elliott thrives on. Using computer design software, usually Dolby Photo Shop, she is free to experiment with color and shape beyond the realm of human ability, often bending into the surreal.

"I make alterations using different filters, playing around with the hues. I come out with a lot of abstract art that looks nothing like the original," she says.

Several of her images are being exhibited at E.W. Poore's on Front Street in Manchester through the end of January. She also has a sampling of images online at, which can be ordered directly from her Web site.

Most notable are her self-portraits, combining bold lines and bolder color combinations in various themes, including the obvious Catholic imagery of the haunting "Marylynda."

Coming up with the right titles for her work is admittedly a challenge. But she figures it will come, with time.

"I'm working a part-time job right now, just to help pay the mortgage and support my habit -- framing and matting is very expensive," says Elliott, who lives with her Web designer boyfriend. "This starving artist stuff is a little scary. I've applied for some jobs in graphic art, but they are usually looking for someone with experience. The stuff I do, a lot of it is really out there."

For now she will continue riding a feedback high, as public response to her work keeps her focused on pushing the limits of her imagination -- and pursuing something that, for some purists, is too technologically charged.

"Even though I was overwhelmed by all the positive comments, I've also run into a lot of people who don't think digital counts. They ask, 'Do you use a real camera or a digital?'," says Elliott.

"My response, to tell the truth, is that they have their opinion, and that's fine. Maybe they think it's not pure, and maybe it's not," she says. "But I think it's just the technology that intimidates them. Manchester is growing as an art community, and I have a good feeling about the future."

Copyright 2004 Union Leader Corp.
Record Number: 1005CB94981117A5