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• Artist Interview: Degree Art Gallery Interview With Laura H Elliott BA (Hons)

Degree Art Gallery Artist Interview with Laura H Elliott BA (Hons)

Date: 14th March 2017

Read my full Degree Art Gallery artist interview at:

https://degreeart.com/blog/laura-h-elliott-energetic-art-featuring-emotional-content

1) Which art movement do you consider most influential on your practice?

The key influence in my work is from abstract expressionism, drawing inspiration from their energetic art featuring emotional content, spontaneous gestures, and often in monumental sizes. The way each artist practiced, channeled their emotions into each artwork has given me the conviction and has driven my work forward:

  • Willem de Kooning
  • Clyfford Still
  • Helen Frankenthaler
  • Mark Rothko

The quote below epitomizes why this movement drives my work, inspiring me to constantly channel my life and emotions into each artwork:

“I’m not interested in ‘abstracting’ or taking things out or reducing painting to design, form, line, and color. I paint this way because I can keep putting more things in it – drama, anger, pain, love, a figure, a horse, and my ideas about space. Through your eyes it again becomes an emotion or idea.” (Quote by Willem de Kooning)

2) Where do you go and when to make your best art?

My love of the outdoors, especially during the summer, always spurs my creativity. I now have a wonderful, compact or small, home studio where I can create and explore my art freely.

3) How do you describe your ‘creative process’?

My creative process is different in the two mediums I specialise in, which are: mixed media painting and metal clay. Due to my disability, my mediums require assistance during the creative processes, but this adds love into every piece I create. Once I pick-up my brush or my piece of clay, all my worries are put aside. Art is truly my therapy.

Painting:

This medium is truly an unplanned process. The only aspect that I plan is my colour scheme, I layout my paints and other mediums, to create in a sub-conscious manner, using colour and mood to drive my work. Each painting is created in layers, building up colour and tones step-by-step, until I feel I have achieved the background. Then I add details and my signature.
It was 2016 when my paintings moved back into a free-flowing, abstract expressionist style featuring a bright colour palette. This highly enjoyable, free, relaxed painting style reflecting how my life has settled and how my emotions ebb and flow at this point in my life.

Metal Clay Designs:

This medium is the complete opposite, due to the nature of clay and the amount of tools required. I plan the basics of my designs in rough sketches and use these ideas as a starting point for each design. It is once I have started to create each piece that I refine the overall design and I can then create instinctively, as I do when I paint. Each design is a strict step-by-step process as below with a minimum of 12 steps for even the smallest metal clay design:

  1. Prepare the clay ready to work with
  2. Apply textures to the clay
  3. Roll the clay (thickness is dependent on type of clay being used) and cut for each element of the design
  4. Build the design
  5. Leave to air dry
  6. Kiln fire the design
  7. Soak in Picklean to remove fire scale
  8. Rinse with bicarb to neutralise Picklean
  9. Start to shine the fired clay with a wire brush
  10. Use an agate burnisher or polisher for bright shine
  11. Shine the piece with protective wax
  12. Mount stones
  13. The piece is ready to be worn

More about my work and my working process on my blog:

https://laurahelliott.wordpress.com

4) Which artist, living or deceased, is the greatest inspiration to you?

My first and most enduring love is the work of master artist Picasso and his cubist artworks, exploring colour, perspective and the transition of three-dimensional objects into a two-dimensional framework.

In addition, I have visited countless exhibitions and have explored a large range of mediums both practically and through academic reading. The artist that I deeply admire is David Hockney, who I think of almost like a kindred spirit to me. His exploration of perspective in both photography and painting are fascinating and reminds me of the cubist movement in many ways. The way Hockney flips perspective strikes a cord with me as that is something I like to play with in my paintings, along side the inspiration of the abstract expressionist movement.

5) If you weren’t an artist, what would you do?

I worked professionally in the nursing field from the age of 18 until I was 23. I adored the interaction with people, the challenges it brought and helping other people. Saying this, I was artistic as a young child, so the love and imagination has been there my whole life.

6) What do you listen to for inspiration?

It was when I moved into my late teens and early 20s, I found my paintings where inspired by music. I am a lover of heavy metal, filled with energy and feeling; however, I enjoy listening to all types of music now I am older.

7) Which 3 artists would you collect work by if money was no object?

  1. Picasso – Sculptures
  2. Clyfford Still
  3. Jenny Saville

8) If your dream museum or collection owner came calling, which would it be?

Louvre Museum, Paris, France

9) What is your key piece of advice for artists embarking on a fine art or creative degree today?

Use the summer breaks to create more artworks and read, especially the summer break between the 2nd and 3rd year. That break enables you to start your dissertation and be ahead for the start of the 3rd year. The 3rd year is so busy you need all the time you can get and it will significantly reduce your stress and work load.

10) What is your favourite book of all time (fiction or non fiction)?

I do not have an all time favourite book; however, I am a lover of reading and learning about life stories of people from all backgrounds, around the world.

11) If you could hang or place your artwork in one non traditional art setting, where would that be?

The non-traditional setting would be a Gothic church architecture, because of the contradiction having modern with Gothic.

12) What was the biggest lesson your university course or time studying taught you?

I was diagnosed in 2003 with Dyspraxia and Dyslexia, which was life changing. These learning difficulties of Dyspraxia and Dyslexia had profoundly impacted on my academic standard and life. I started university with low grades, but as time passed I worked really hard by always attending learning support tuition and reading as much as I could get my hands on. I truly believe that academic study is as important as the practical practice of art. The academic perspective on your course allows you to take a quality skill set into the art world, especially regarding working with spoken language, galleries and paperwork linked to this. I know that through my academic studies my quality of spoken language and organisational skills has significantly improved.

I always say that everyone should use the library as it is full of inspiration, knowledge and facilities to develop your education. Use the library staff and tap into journals as a quick way to understand a subject, especially as they are a few pages maximum. In addition, make the most of resources such as learning support to improve your written work and your support work during modules you study.

Mainly….enjoy your course!

With my best wishes.

13) And finally, if we were to fast forward 10 years, where would we find you?

I would still be working with Degree Art Gallery and continue to exhibit in new UK galleries and locations. I am working on a new body of work and high quality limited edition prints.

I would like to have achieved membership to ‘The Society of Women Artists’.


All artworks & designs displayed are © Copyright by Laura H Elliott BA (Hons), Dip.

Buy my work online @ http://www.lhe-art.co.uk

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/laurahelliottart

Twitter @laurahelliott

Pintrest https://www.pinterest.com/lauraelliottart/

Linked In https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/laura-elliott-ba-hons/6b/959/533

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• Artist Interview: The Heroine’s Journey

The Heroine’s Journey

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

Firstly, I have never thought of myself as a heroine, but this is a unique interview and the questions allow me to explain more about who I am. It might add more depth of understanding of my art.

So, to answer the question:

I love the way art enables me a precious avenue of self expression, a true therapy and a way to relax. I adore the fact that when I hold a brush or design with clay, because my mind drifts and it turns into a short type of ‘holiday’ from my disability.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
I was proud to have not only gained my Art and Media Bachelor of Arts with Honors, but to have achieved a 1st for my dissertation. As I am both dyspraxic and dyslexic, it was a huge uphill battle to succeed.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

I just want my husband, family and friends to be healthy and happy. The fact is that I am an emerging artist, disabled and I hope that I will be able to keep creating work with the hope to be able to make a living.

Above: ‘Setting Sun’ Sold by © Laura H Elliott


What is my greatest fear?

This is two fold:

  1. Loosing my husband, family and friends, as they complete my life.
  2. That I will loose my eye sight and the Rheumatoid Arthritis damages my hands and I cannot paint.


What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I find it endlessly infuriating that I cannot express myself clearly and talk too much in order to compensate. I also find that both my disability and anxiety affect interacting with others.

Above: ‘Those Who Watch Over Us’ by © Laura H Elliott

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
My artist peers who I exhibit with and work along side.

Above: Exhibited at the Royal College of Art with Flux exhibition – ‘Strength’ by © Laura H Elliott

What is my greatest extravagance?
Like a typical artist, I adore searching for the mediums I use: copper/ fine silver metal clay and I adore different types of paint.

On what occasion would I lie?

Only to protect my loved ones.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

I think the art world can be a mine field and highly competitive or judgemental. No matter: who we are, where we are from, what level our art career is at, what is our medium of choice and if we are ‘art school’ (for lack of a better word) educated or not.


When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
It was during the 1st and 2nd year of my Art and Media Bachelor of Honors at the University of the Creative Arts at Farnham, Surrey, UK.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Simply put, I would be healthy and able to work as an artist to the best of my ability.

Where would I most like to live?

If I was not disabled, my husband and I would own a gallery in Cornwall, UK and organising art exhibitions and fairs. We both adore Cornwall and the sea. Bliss.

Above: My Mum and Dad


What is my most treasured possession?

My family, always.

It was in 2009, we moved into our bungalow. It may seem odd that it is treasured; however, it has given us a quality of life, peace and a lovely little garden for me to paint in. We have lovely neighbors and peace of mind is priceless.
What is my most marked characteristic?
I am extremely talkative, but that is just who I am!

My mother worked as a hairdresser and would often take me with her to meet the elderly residents in the nursing home where she worked, where I would sit with and talk to for hours. People fascinated me and it was then that I began my lifelong fascination with learning from others by hearing about their lives, learning about whom they were and how they felt. I know that I was never short of something to talk about, which is something I have carried into adulthood.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

We are very lucky to still have beautiful countryside where we live in and around Berkshire.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

I adore Japanese food and the seafood we have access to in Great Britain.

What books influenced my life and how?

It is an honor to read other peoples life stories. They educate and inform me about lives of those I may never meet in person. I truly believe it gives you a new perspective and understanding of others.


Who are my favourite writers?

I enjoy the writer Jean Sasson’s insights into others worlds, life experiences and cultures.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Easy…my life-long love of heavy metal, including Metallica, Pearl Jam and an array of rock music.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

I also enjoy the films that address complicated life stories of people through history. These people are truly my heroes and heroines.


Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My parents are my rocks in life and I dearly love them, as has my siblings. I look up to them and I feel it so much more since my Dad passed in 2011. I always treasure my family and all the love and memories they have unconditionally given me.
I truly feel immensely proud of great-grand fathers on both my maternal and paternal sides.

Firstly, my maternal great-grandfather or ‘Grandpa’ was a man who I remember and deeply respect and love. He was from Glasgow, worked into his late 70s and a very a selfless man. Born in Glasgow, lived a very hard and poor life, but took care of his whole family and was an example to me in how you should treat your loved ones, as precious. He cared for every member of his family and helped them without question.

Above: My father’s Grandfather in his uniform before he was promoted to Captain

Secondly, my paternal great-grandfather was a true example to me, as he was mounted cavalry in WW1 and beyond. He was a Roma Gypsy who immigrated into the UK before the upheaval WW1. He worked his way up the ranks from a Private to a Captain, especially as he was a highly skilled horse handler which was crucial during WW1. He served his country, Great Britain, diligently during and after the war.  A true example of courage, honour and how an immigrant can serve a country with valour.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

I cannot say one film as there are such a huge number of films that are stunning.

What role does art play in my life and work?

It is my identity and who I have always been since I was a young child. I have created artwork from my heart from the age of 17, which has presented my life in my art, in all mediums I have explored and studied. Every piece is simply an expression of self. This expression of self does always not fit into the specific subject of self-portraiture.

Above: ‘Purple Punk’d Velvet’ by © Laura H Elliott

My ‘Landscape Moods Collection’ is a relaxing and deeply enjoyable body of work, a new freedom. I felt that when I painted my earlier, more realistic artworks, I felt tense and frustrated. I also create work in metal clay with genuine gemstones called the ‘Landscape Gems Collection’.

Above: ‘Ruby With Love’ (left) and ‘Sapphire With Love’ (right) by © Laura H Elliott

I have recently been exploring ways to add dimension to my paintings: surface textures and patterns, outline shapes, natural form and softer lines by using other mediums such as conte pastels to add softer lines, with a stark colour difference within the paint palette to add drama mood. My recent work has included a new set of fluorescent colours which adds a glow to each piece, transforming into a soft glow under low lights. These ideas cross into my metal clay work as well.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My parents and my husband are my lynch-pins. I also treasure my close friends who have offered me encouragement, joy and love for decades, as they are my adopted families.


Whom would I like to work with 2017?

I always think at least 2-3 years ahead in the arts, just like galleries.

I am hoping for two wishes to come to fruition in the future: a second UK solo exhibition and to begin to produces a high quality limited edition print of my work.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on?

I am exploring new avenues and, as I mentioned before, I hope for a second UK solo exhibition and to begin to produces a high quality limited edition prints of my work.

Above: ‘Interstella’ by © Laura H Elliott


Where can you see me or my work in 2017?

I want to exhibit in new galleries, yet keep working with: Degree Art Gallery, Flux Gallery exhibitions and Fenster Art. Who knows what is round the corner.


What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

Art is my passion, always has been and always will.


How can you contact me?

Laura H Elliott BA (Hons), Dip

laurahelliott@hotmail.com

Buy my work online with Degree Art Gallery, London:  https://degreeart.com/artists/laura-elliott

Laura H Elliott Art and Blog: https://laurahelliott.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurahelliottart/


Instagram:
laurahelliottart

Twitter: @lauraelliottart


• Artist Interviews with Laura H Elliott BA (Hons) Art

Artist Interviews with Laura H Elliott BA (Hons) Art

 Artist Interviews with Laura Elliott BA (Hons) This blog shares interviews about my work as an artist, my background, painting methods, inspirations and my journey in the arts.


April 2017 – TBC


March 2017 – TBC


March 2016:

The Palette Pages Artist Interview by curator Lisa Gray – Flux Gallery

Laura Elliott Artist Interview ~ The Palette Pages

http://www.thepalettepages.com/2016/03/28/lauraelliott/

The Palette Pages interview has a personal introduction by Lisa Gray:

“We are delighted to introduce the artwork of Laura Elliott.  We were first introduced to Laura’s work online and quickly became a follower of her unique style.  When Laura applied to exhibit her work at FLUX Exhibition we were instantly taken with her art and were eager to show her distinctive creations.  Laura is an artist that works with both paint and metal clay.  It was her metal clay work that really grabbed our attention.   Laura is an artist who has harvested her creativity from a very young age.  After studying and finding her form Laura now works with metal clay and precious and semi-precious gemstones.  Her work is intricate and beautiful displaying rawness and luxury, a combination that adds to the beauty of her work.

Laura has gallery representation and takes part in numerous exhibitions within the UK and internationally.  One thing we are sure of is the journey Laura is taking is an exciting one, she is an artist with passion and drive, she is an artist that is not afraid to take on new challenges.

Laura we love your work, we love the concept that we could wear a unique, stunning and impactful piece as jewellery – it’s as personal as it can get with contemporary art. Just marvelous – thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspirations with us.”


January 2015: 

Laura Elliott Artist Interview ~ Iris Art Magazine

‘Laura Elliott’s art journey is a roller coaster ride’

http://www.irisartmagazine.com/laura-elliotts-art-journey-is-a-roller-coaster-ride/

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All artworks & designs displayed are © Copyright by artist Laura H Elliott BA (Hons), Dip.

View my professional gallery of works at:

View my work quick link @ http://www.lhe-art.co.uk

 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/laurahelliottart

Twitter @laurahelliott

Pintrest https://www.pinterest.com/lauraelliottart/

Linked In https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/laura-elliott-ba-hons/6b/959/533