Liz Hoag earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Cornell University in 1983 and her Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Boston University in 1986. She then moved to Maine and started a screen printing business. In 1997 she sold her share of the business, made a huge change, and enrolled in law school at the University of Maine. After earning her JD, she practiced law at Pine Tree Legal Assistance. In 2010, because she found after a few years of practicing law that she was exhausted from spending her days arguing with other lawyers and always trying to “win,” she returned to art. There were good feelings that came with a win in court, but the feelings didn’t last. She worked with low-income residents of Maine and liked the idea of offering quality legal representation, but in the end, knew that she was better at something else.
What she’s drawn to in her own work is composition, light, and color. She paints all kinds of landscapes but started focusing on trees a few years ago because they give so much. They give a strong linear element to a composition. They provide extremes of light and dark and depth. They provide an incredibly varied color palette. Having trees in a landscape painting also leads the viewer to where the artist wants the viewer to go. Trees can frame scenes or interrupt scenes. And there’s just something about the negative space that trees produce that compels her. She loves seeing THROUGH trees and the complexities of the composition that those negative spaces give her to work with. The possible abstract paintings available within the negative spaces between branches are endless.