Top Emerging Artists of 2009 | Elizabeth Pruitt

By Norman Koplas

All her life, Elizabeth Pruitt has had “a love affair” with flowers. “My mother had a rose garden at our house in Salt Lake City,” she recalls. “And my strongest memories are of walking with both my grandmothers at our cabin above Park City, picking wildflowers. I still have the book in which I pressed them.”


Though she “went straight into homemaking and motherhood” at the age of 20, Pruitt first put brush to canvas a year later. She went on to study decorative art, and for a time, while living in Pittsburgh, PA, made a living creating wall murals featuring flowers and fruit. Meanwhile, she honed her fine-art skills studying with painter Robert Daley. “We started with portraits,” she says, “and then I slid into still lifes.” Not surprisingly, her mentor observed that painting flowers was where she excelled.

That’s self-evident from the lushly romantic realist canvases Pruitt began selling in 2004, mostly of blossoms grown in the gardens surrounding her current home in Olathe, KS. Her professional debut was quickly followed by membership in Oil Painters of America and many shows and prizes. With success has come a broadening of her horizons. “I’d like to expand to figurative art and landscapes,” says Pruitt, age 46. She’s also planning a move west to the mountains, her children now grown and her beloved husband, Jim, having passed away in July 2007. “I’ll still paint flowers, too. Come spring, when they bloom, it’s like they’re saying, ‘we’ve made it through the winter.’ That’s what painting is now for me. It’s like I’m saying to everyone, ‘Look, here I am. I’m blooming again.’”

She is represented by Mountain Trails Gallery, Park City, UT, and Palm Desert, CA; Journeys West Gallery, Solana Beach, CA; Legacy Gallery, Jackson Hole, WY, and Scottsdale, AZ; Tierney Fine Art, Bozeman, MT; Highlands Art Gallery, Chester, NJ; Manchester Vermont Fine Art Gallery, Manchester, VT;

Upcoming Show

Participant, C.M. Russell Auction, Great Falls, MT, March 18-21.

Featured in January 2009