Elaine was born during the depression on a farm southeast of Watson, Saskatchewan. Like most farm girls of that era, Elaine was sent to a convent in her teen years to finish her secondary education. It was during these years at the St. Ursuline Academy in Bruno Saskatchewan that Elaine's life-long commitment to art was nurtured under the loving mentorship of Sister Rita Berthold. Elaine went on to study Education at the University Saskatchewan. During that time, Elaine spent her summers enrolled in the art program at Emma Lake where she had the privilege of attending classes instructed by Reta Cowley.
She obtained a teaching certificate from the University of Saskatchewan and began teaching grade school first in Saskatoon and then Swift Current. Elaine moved to Alberta with her husband in 1957, where she continued her teaching profession until raising a family became a priority.
In 1967, she completed a three-year ceramic program through the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. For many years Elaine worked in clay with a focus on functional and sculptural works. Eventually Elaine returned to her original passion for painting and in 1987,
she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alberta, where she had studied painting with Doug Haynes. Elaine lives in Edmonton with her husband Andy.
Elaine Classen © 2018