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Elise Willems, a Belgian artist based in Antwerp, draws inspiration from her background in architecture and her interest in digital design to create her paintings. While working as an architect, she discovered the limitations of digital drawing and became fascinated with the interaction between digital and analog drawing and painting.

In her paintings, Elise incorporates elements of computer-generated imagery to create a fantastical environment filled with recognizable forms found in nature, such as flowers, leaves, and fruit. Through deconstruction and reconstruction, the meaning of the subjects shifts, allowing for open interpretation. While floral motifs are immediately recognizable, a closer look reveals that they are not true representations of the flowers themselves.

Elise’s creative process involves a back-and-forth communication between digital drawing/display software and analog painting methods, blurring the boundary between 2D and 3D space. By capturing fragments of her digital models on canvas, Elise brings her fantasy world into the physical reality, questioning the merging of our physical and virtual lives and exploring the elusive tension between the two.



“Compositie met blauw”

Acrylics on canvas, 120×95 cm, 2022

“Composition with Blue” is a painting that combines elements of nature and geometry. The artwork showcases an arrangement of 3D shapes that resemble lush green leaves, delicately floating in space. Amidst this vibrant composition, two striking blue spheres emerge, resembling a fully bloomed flower. Another aspect of the painting is the interplay between smooth and sharp textures, which initially creates an illusion similar to computer-generated imagery. However, upon closer examination, it becomes evident that the artwork is, in fact, a painting created by hand.

Reflecting on the meaning behind “Composition with Blue”, the floating 3D shapes evoke a sense of weightlessness and liberation, a dreamy or otherworldly atmosphere. The contrasting elements— natural and geometric, smooth and sharp—can symbolize the harmonious coexistence of different aspects of life. It prompts us to consider the relationship between nature and the artificial, the online and offline realms, the soft and rigid aspects of existence, or even the digital and analog domains.

Eventually, the work provokes thought about the significance of nature in our rapidly progressing digital world. The depicted shapes, with their rigid and geometric qualities, starkly contrast the organic and natural forms found in real flowers. Thus, the artwork serves as a reminder of our growing detachment from the natural world, highlighting the need to reconnect with nature in our lives today.


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