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Reclaiming my Hobby – Meet Elaine Hirsch

by Kristen Andersen | July 9th | @theartstudiony

Meet Artist Elaine Hirsch

Elaine’s art journey started from a very young age. She took many in person art classes throughout her life; in college, when she was first married, private classes here, acrylic group classes there… She also taught Hebrew Calligraphy to high school and adult learning classes. Elaine’s interest in art was furthered by her late cousin, Ben Schilmeister, who was an amazing graphic, portrait and calligraphy artist. Elaine practices art in a variety of mediums; pencil, chalk, charcoal, pastel, and acrylic. 

The Hebrew letter Shin -Elaine Hirsch

Part of Elaine’s responsibilities at work include a program called Wise Aging, where students learn positive ways to navigate a meaningful transition to the next chapter on life’s journey. After raising families and having careers, one owes it to themselves to rediscover who they are. Life after retirement is the time to start a new chapter– to reinvent yourself, according to Elaine.

My grandmother of Blessed Memory as a teenager- Elaine Hirsch

Because Elaine was already working from home due to the pandemic, she thought she would give online art classes a try. On April 6th, 2020, Elaine joined her first online zoom class at The Art Studio NY. At the time, Zoom was something new to Elaine, but it is now something she uses quite regularly for work and The Art Studio NY. It has been a really useful resource, especially considering it has allowed her the opportunity to join NYC based art classes from Arizona. 

After being asked why she decided to revisit art classes during the pandemic, Elaine answered, “I thought the art classes would be healing… it’s reclaiming an old hobby of mine”. Elaine confessed that she hoped she to return to her artistic practice after retirement. “I’ve always practiced art, but I’ve never practiced as intensely as what The Art Studio NY has provided,” shares Elaine. 

“I’ve re-found my passion”

Acrylic Painting of a Cactus in Bloom – Elaine Hirsch

Elaine admits she finds herself fighting the urge to continue painting in exchange for a good night’s sleep. Now she has her own space in her office where she paints. Portrait paintings are her favorite. Portraits really capture a person’s essence and personality. Elaine shares that her portraits really are a way to help her process emotions. For example, she had a very dear friend, Mali, that died of cancer, in addition to her cousin, Yishai, who also died of cancer this year. In Rebecca’s class, Elaine painted the two of them and it was very healing. Unfortunately, Elaine couldn’t go to their funerals so this was a way to connect with them one last time. After the paintings were done, Elaine sent the portraits off to their families. 

Portrait of Elaine’s cousin who recently passed away.









Acrylic Painting of my Dear Friend Mali Who Recently Passed Away – Elaine Hirsch

Elaine’s art practice is a way for her to stay connected to herself and those who shaped her. After Elaine’s talented, artistic mother passed away 3 years ago, Elaine feels she is continuing to honor her by keeping the family’s art practice strong. If Elaine could give her pre-pandemic self some advice, she would say, “I should’ve started this a long time ago.” 

My Three Granddaughters at the Beach – Elaine Hirsch

My Mother of Blessed Memory as a Teenager – Elaine Hirsch