A boldly figurative artist, Despins has an established career under her belt, and a recognizable painterly style bolstered by exquisite execution. In her recent series of works, she focuses entirely on hands—the tired hands of an elderly woman. “These are my mother’s hands,” she opens her statement, and the viewer is instantly carried into a world of both unbearable intimacy and creative beauty. Standing in front of the first of the pieces—all titled Holding On and numbered—there is no question that one is on hallowed ground, no doubt that Despins’s mother is no longer here, that these are works born of grief, and that an overwhelming creative impulse was needed to transcend it. These are, indeed, transformative compositions in the sense of their visual impact and in the way that Despins subverts verifiable reality.

— Dorota Kozinska, La Vie des Arts. 2019

Elaine Despins. Inward Gaze receiving the Honorable Mention Award from the Kingston Prize 2019 Elaine Despins. Inward Gaze. Honorable Mention Award. Oil on Canvas_42" x 30" Elaine Despins. Holding On 5. Oil on Canvas. 36" x 40" Elaine Despins. Holding On 2. Oil on Canvas. 36" x 36" Elaine Despins. Holding On 7. Oil on Linen. 48" x 60" Elaine Despins. Holding On 6. Oil on Canvas.  24" x 30" Elaine Despins.Holding On 3_ Charcoal on Stonehenge, 24" x 33" Elaine Despins. Holding On 4_Pastel on black board. 12" x 16". Elaine Despins _ Holding On 8. Oil on Canvas_14" x 18" Elaine Despins. Holding On 1. Oil on Terraskin. 6" x 9" Elaine Despins. Belvédère_Oil on Board. 40" x 30" Elaine Despins. A Luminous Darkness. Oil on Canvas. 36" x 60"