An evocative mixture of connections joining logic and emotion, Fraticelli’s work is transformative and intimate. From her unique viewpoint she captivates and challenges with diverse content combinations surrounding life, love, and loss.
Elaine Fraticelli (Fra-ti-che-lee) grew up in Susanville, California surrounded by pine trees that sound like water in the wind. Her Grandmother, Judy Fraticelli, taught her how to draw from an early age and instilled in her an interest and appreciation for art to last a lifetime. Leaping from East Granby, Connecticut, to Kalispell, Montana, and finally to Missoula, Fraticelli completed her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree at the University of Montana.
Traveling from coast to coast, Fraticelli has come to value the significance of nature in relation to human living environments and the greater existence of human beings. When a study abroad program took her overseas to Venice Italy for studies in art, language, culture, and theater, she discovered how uniquely important environment is to the culture existing within it. Her paintings now include strong relationships between the subject and it's environment, while flat spaces of rich color are often in contrast with detailed subjects or textured mediums and patterns.
Each of Fraticelli's paintings and occasional sculptural works are based on abstract concepts or emotions. Recent and past unexpected life experiences have led her to use her newfound knowledge with difficult emotions to fuel her art practice. Mental illnesses, bereavement, life changes, and personal relationships are prevalent themes in her work. She aspires to encourage her viewers, including herself, to remember and believe that you are worth every ounce of effort it takes to get through whatever you're facing in life. Always.
Fraticelli chooses a broad idea or concept first and spends time researching and refining her idea. Certain words and phrases will then become images then combined in different ways to create a composition that best represents her concept. She then explores and experiments with materials, practicing and honing skill and technique before it’s applied to the final piece.
Because Fraticelli chooses concepts from her own impactful life experiences, piecing a painting together takes an enormous amount of time and effort. Her intent is not only to better mentally process her own experiences and emotions, but to visually offer that process to viewers who may be going through similar situations.
“Art is a wound turned into light.”
~ Georges Braque
Art has been a huge part of my life for basically my entire life. From California, to Connecticut, to Montana where I got my Art degree, it’s become a part of me and my existence in the world. I quickly established that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, and that’s what I became. I developed my skill through high school and graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelor's of Fine Art Degree specializing in painting and drawing..
The very next month, on January 1st 2017, I narrowly survived the fatal car crash that took my partners life. I was driving us and two friends home through a snowy mountain pass when I slowly woke up in the Inpatient Stroke Rehab Unit in the hospital. I was groggy, loopy, in pain, and exhausted, with my Dad and my Sister on either side of me. They told me for the 20th time that I had been in a car accident and that my partner didn’t make it. They told me I had skull fractures that were millimeters from my carotid arteries which caused a stroke. It was thirteen days later. Driving home in the snowstorm, my car started to slide on ice into oncoming traffic. I swerved to miss a semi truck but must have lost control of the car and got t-boned by an SUV. My partner took the full force and passed away instantly. I survived with a collapsed lung, pelvic fractures, skull fractures, a missing tooth, and a stroke that affected my motor movements. I spent the rest of five weeks in the hospital learning how to function, and then the rest of the year learning how to walk again.
I still have a lifetime of recovery ahead of me, but I’ve learned some key lessons from my experiences. Some of these lessons are pretty universal, like self worth, and some are more personal to my grief and guilt of losing a loved one accompanied by a drastic physical change to my life. I had to come to the conclusion that my PTSD will not go away or “get better”, and by gaining the ability to function with it, I diminish it’s control over me and I can live my life. I had to learn that the pain of grief does not need to exist in order for my connection to him to exist and be valid. My partner taught me that I was worthy of what I wanted and that if I tried, I could get it. After he passed, I had to learn that his words were still true without him being here to continually reinforce them. I’ve decided, with my therapist’s enthusiastic support, to draw and paint these lessons and emotions, with the intent of possibly helping others with similar feelings.
The idea that images could be used in addition to various therapies to aid in someone’s mental/emotional growth, drove me to pursue art full time and begin this journey into the art world. By piecing together different images, textures, patterns, styles, designs, backgrounds, and subjects, with colors, abstractions, and other emotional triggers, I can create images that mirror life. I create visual depictions of complex concepts to encourage and inspire understanding. The biggest lesson my partner taught me in our short time together was that I am worthy. I am worthy of what I want, and I am worthy of life. Now it’s my turn to teach others.