Artist Eliane Ambrose opens her studio to the public

Shawn Hardy
Eliane Ambrose is shown with a handful of the works in her studio, which she will open to the public for the first time this weekend. For video, visit echo-pilot.com.

Eliane Ambrose’s paintings can be found in collections throughout the United States and in Europe, including her native France. She’s been highlighted in at least 10 one-woman shows and other exhibits.

The award-winning artist didn’t pick up a paintbrush until she was 52 and now approaching 80, she will open the doors of her studio to the public for the first time this weekend.

“A lot of people in Greencastle have never seen my work,” said Ambrose. “I’ve never opened my studio. I’m getting up in age and not going to commit to many shows.”

Although she will turn 80 this August, Ambrose is still as vibrant as the paintings that cover the walls of her studio in the lower level of her Joy Drive home.

“I refuse to let the aches and pains take over,” she said. “God will know when he wants to call me home.”

On a recent rainy afternoon, she pointed to two recently completed paintings — a detailed cityscape of the south side of New York and an Alaska mountain landscape.

“I paint whatever I feel like that day,” said Ambrose, who also was working on lilies of the valley for the spring flowers assignment from the painters group she belongs to.

Ambrose came the United States at 18 as the bride of Harold Ambrose of Greencastle, who she met when he was stationed with the Army in France. They had been married for 45 years and had had six children when he passed away six years ago.

She was 52 when a friend said to her, “Nothing ever changes with you.”

That prompted Ambrose to approach artist and teacher Dennis Blalock of Thurmont, whose work she describes as “magnificent.” He agreed to take her on only if she was serious.

“He was very serous about his art and expected us to be the same,” she said. “After a year, he said he had taught me all the dos and don’ts and to just fly.”

Her flight is strictly in oils, but her pieces run from landscapes and portraits to still lifes and the abstracts she does when she’s burned out.

“I’m very diversified. I don’t paint to please anyone, I paint to please myself,” said Ambrose, who also has published a book of her poetry, believes in staying active and enjoys traveling.

The studio in her home at 763 Joy Drive off Williamsport Pike south of Greencastle will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7. For more information, call 717-597-8135.