+1 ::: Why are
you an artist Elizabeth, and when did
you first become one?
I think artists are born and not made.
How much ability they have, and what they
are able to do with it varies depending
on the rest of the personality and probably
the early circumstances of their lives.
Some with very little ability are able
to forge huge ,successful careers, while
others with tremendous ability can not
move ahead at all.
Thus it is that I have always been an
artist . There were two seminal experiences
in my early life that formalized this
for me. When I was five years old, I had
a little friend who lived down the street
from me. Her mother was a professional
pianist and teacher. There was a huge
grand piano in their living room, and
I vividly remember lying on my back underneath
the piano and staring up at what I now
know to have been a reproduction of Gauguin's
painting FATATA TE MITI. His was the first
invitation into the world I now inhabit.
The second event took place several years
later when I was looking through one of
the many art reproduction books of my
parents. I came across the painting by
Siqueiros "Echo of a Scream"
and was , as a child, terrified at the
truth in it and pierced with the determination
to try always to convey that truth.
+2 ::: Could
you tell us some more about your sculpture?
textbook terms, my work would best be
described as contemporary expressionism,
which loosely means artists who communicate
personal vision by distorting color, shape,
surface, or space in their work. It has
been said of my work that it is the "inside
out , rather than the outside in".
The sculpture is almost always mixed media
except for the "small works".
The subject matter varies widely, although
most of it addresses the human condition
in one form or another.
::: My mother used to ask me Why the figures
in my work are never smiling. How would
you answer that question?
I hadn't really thought about it. I guess
the most truthful answer would be that,
although I have made some work that incorporates
a smile, there is no particular reason
one way or another. Unless I am making
a "social statement" piece,
I don't plan ahead much when I work. I
just sort of follow where my materials
lead me and try to understand what I have
made after it is finished. And, I would
have to say that a piece with a smile
is a rarity for me. It has to do, I think,
with a certain kind of tension. There
are many wonderful classical examples
of formal tension and a smile, such as
Houdon's bust of Voltaire, but, that is
obviously not the kind of tension in a
piece that interests me a great deal.
::: What famous artists have influenced
you, and how?
Hans Bellmer, Rodin, Juan Munoz, Germaine
Richier, I love how each artist approached
their work both technically and artistically.
Studying them is a constant source of
inspiration and knowledge for me.
Painting: Matisse, Gauguin, Picasso, Rothko,
Matisse and Gauguin for color and line,
Picasso for line and Rothko for color.
+5 ::: What other
interests do you have outside of creating
read voraciously, I love music of all
kinds, watching films, and I love creating
::: What inspires you to create art and
how do you keep motivated when things
get tough in the studio?
for me can come from innumerable sources.
I.e.: Artists whose work I love, artists
whose work I have just been exposed to,
books, music, film, situations in the
When things " get tough in the studio"?
I usually move to another medium when
I hit the wall in the one I am working
in at the moment. That almost always works
::: How have you handled the business
side of being an artist?
made a decision early on to be scrupulously
honest and always to keep the commitments
I make, even those I might seriously regret.
I also learned, early on, that not everyone
else does the same. So, now, I just wait
and see, and I don't get too excited until
the talked about reality is concrete.
::: How would your life change if you
were no longer allowed to create art?
would be dead or in a catatonic state.
::: What's the best and worst parts of
being a full time, working artist?
very best is when you are "in the
zone" and everything is working,
the worst is that time is always and inevitably
+10 ::: What
advice would you give to an artist just
you want to have a long career then you
must first and foremost love process.
All else should pale in front of the love
of what you are doing as you make your
work. That will sustain you over many
an arid time vis a vis galleries, sales,
and shows. Also, keep your eyes open for
new products and techniques and always,
always be looking at everything!