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  • Paula Tiberius

Elu Gallery Is Live!

Merike Lugus and I have opened a brand new art shop called Elu Gallery!

Merike Lugus also happens to be my mom, so it’s a family affair. And fittingly, the first person I connected with on the Etsy marketplace was my cousin Liisa Priyanka Lugus, who sells her beautiful “jewelry with soul” at Ratna Rani Bracelets. My father is also a painter, using oil with knives and focused on the natural world – you can check out his work at

But back to the shop. Mom is selling acrylic paintings and collages which are getting a lot of attention on the shop. And really, who wouldn’t ‘favorite’ this Fairy Godmother?

Wouldn’t this be perfect for that friend of yours who just had a baby and needs decor for the kid’s room? Hmm? In fact, it was based on a drawing that Violet made.

Merike has had a lifetime career in art, exhibiting her paintings and sculptures internationally, most recently in a retrospective ex-pat show in Estonia at the National Art Gallery. She also has a funny, thoughtful blog called Bite the Peach, and a wonderful novel about a young man who fails miserably at being a hermit called Leaving Lake Surrender. Another great Christmas gift idea, people – pay attention!

“In my vision, I aim for the simplicity of Matisse, yet seem to gravitate towards the more intricate exuberant expression of Hundertwasser,” says Merike in her artist’s statement. I love her new abstract direction. It’s so liberating!

This saucy collage, The Little Red Dress won’t last long.  It’s already been put on a few Treasury lists.

As has my linoleum print, Woman Looking Into The Sun, below.

I’ve been creating linoleum prints since I was a kid, and still love it. There’s something about reducing images to negative and positive that I find interesting and challenging. I usually work from photographs, as with this one, taken of my friend Kisha Ferguson on a trip to Belize.

I have many pieces that focus on flowers and trees, since they’re not as reliant on actually being able to draw, though I have done portraits on commission. If you see a print you like, I can create it with custom colors and paper too.

This is a portrait of a Joshua Tree, one of the coolest cacti out here in the Southwest.

Here’s an example of a portrait, of my often mentioned sister and brother-law-law, Valerie and Walker.

If you have a moment, take a look at the pieces we have for sale and drop us a line! We are open to feedback since we’re open to – ahem – sales.

And in case you were wondering, “Elu” in Estonian, means “Life” – we don’t like to pigeonhole ourselves.

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