About the Artists: Elaine Raphael & Don Bolognese

“Vermont has always been where we create; the trees, streams, roads and aging barns, even the ever-changing weather, inspire us. Observing the subtle moods and changes in the landscape around us has been like watching our family grow. The paintings and prints are our impressions of a world we know intimately.”

Elaine Raphael and Don Bolognese met at The Cooper Union Art School where they studied under some of the leading artists in New York City. After graduation, married and working in New York, they soon opened another studio in Vermont. What followed was years of devotion to art, with a strong emphasis on printmaking. Elaine focused on etching, producing a number of editions culminating in the award winning series, "Meditations on Vermont." Don’s interest was the woodcut; among the many commissions he received was the coveted "Miracles of Christ" exhibit, a series of large woodcuts and calligraphy for the Vatican Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair.

Elaine Raphael

After a long period working with color etchings, Elaine returned to oil painting, a medium she had put aside during her intensive work as an etcher. For inspiration she looked back to her days at Cooper Union, where masters of the WPA style like Robert Gwathmey and Stuart Davis were her teachers. She also rediscovered the art of Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, and the many under-appreciated American masters who worked from the 1880s to the 1930s.

Elaine’s sold out 2007 show at the In-View Center for the Arts in Vermont exhibited the first evidence of the influence of the American Realism of Hopper and Wood. In her most recent show at the Southern Vermont Art Center, "Light and Solitude: The Poetry of Country Life," her paintings seek to create a timeless evocation of life. Although they are in what she calls a "minor key," the paintings lift the viewer’s mood by offering an inviting stillness that we are tempted to inhabit. Her art continues to explore the isolation of rural life while celebrating the beauty and simplicity of life in Vermont – and add to her reputation as a worthy heir to the American Realist tradition.

Don Bolognese

Don’s woodcut technique quickly earned him many commissions. Among them are award-winning book illustrations for The Franklin Library Limited Editions, and book jacket designs, including the 50th Anniversary edition of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, an original print of which hangs in the Steinbeck Museum.
While drawing and painting have always played an important role in all of his work, in the last few years he has given more attention to large oil and acrylic paintings, focusing on both the landscapes in Vermont and the cityscapes of Manhattan where he and Elaine still maintain a studio.

More about Raphael and Bolognese

Their innovative and moving illustrations for more than 200 children’s books, many of which they also authored, have received countless awards from the American Librarian Association, Book World, and the Bologna International Book Fair. Their original etchings and woodcuts for the Franklin Library’s Limited Edition Series received innumerable honors from The Society of Illustrators, The Art Director’s club, and many other professional organizations, and are in many private collections.

Raphael and Bolognese were commissioned by the award-winning film production designer David Wasco to paint a mural in the WPA style for the Michael J. Fox film "Where the Rivers Flow North," directed by Jay Craven and filmed in Vermont.

Don Bolognese taught illustration, calligraphy and book design at Pratt Institute, The Cooper Union Art School, and New York University. Elaine Raphael taught book design and calligraphy at The Metropolitan Museum School, and computer graphics at Marymount College. They have conducted numerous drawing workshops for children both in Vermont and across the country, and their published work has been the subject of a television documentary.

Please direct questions and comments to Don Bolognese: don@vermontprintcollection.com.