Elsie graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BFA degree. After a two year USAID sojourn in East Africa, she and her husband moved to Lexington, KY where they have lived ever since.
Elsie is drawn to both the deep creviced mountains and valleys of her early years in West Virginia and the soft hills and ridges of the Kentucky landscapes. The sites she chooses for her work are often scenes that bring peacefulness or a tranquil mood. She sketches the scenes in pencil or pastel and then creates her acrylic paintings using an expressive interpretation in application and use of color.
Harris states, "I have always felt connected to the land. It is where I find both joy and serenity. As I travel through Appalachia, I will briefly pencil sketch a site that I am drawn to. When I start painting, I use one of these many images to sketch on the canvas. I play with the forms and lines, embellishing or even changing the initial rendering altogether."
She continues, "I like to use color to convey an intensity of feeling - experienced when first sketching the site. My paintings are always a work in progress and I strive to convey a sense of energy, happiness and closeness. It is a sort of spiritual consciousness with nature - that is what I aim for."
Elsie’s work can also be found in the New Editions Gallery, Lexington, KY; The Kentucky Artisan Center, Berea, KY;