Hello friends! Today I bring you a short blog, sharing two of my recent works. I’m not able to focus on one art project at a time. I need stimulation from different works, jumping from one to the other.
The past two weeks, I’ve completed two of the four projects. The first one is off the recent Lifebook 2017 workshop, titled “Flowers of Gratitude.” This work was created mostly with Caran D’Ache watercolors, some cheap watercolor markers, and Liquitex acrylic. What are flowers of gratitude? It’s the endless beauty in our life that we are thankful for. It comes in many forms: home, family, art, work, faith and more. What are your flowers of gratitude?
The next one comes from Jane Davenport’s current workshop, Over the Rainbow. I made my own version of Toto, modeled after one of my mini-schnauzers. Paisley is my sidekick just like Toto was to Dorothy, so it seems fitting that my Wizard of Oz pal takes her form. Toto was a close friend of Dorothy. From the beginning of the story, they shared a special bond and you could feel the love and friendship between them. Paisley is my furry best friend and this painting below captures her personality perfectly.
I love creating furry characters because unlike the structure of faces or buildings, painting fur lets you forget about lines. “My Toto” was done entirely out of Caran D’Ache watercolor crayons, except the golden polka dots, for which I used Liquitex acrylic.
My very first artistic inspiration was a simple children’s book written in Italian, my native language, narrating the inception of the world and moving on to the cavemen, the invention of the chariot, and the Roman gladiators. Even now I remember my mother sitting next to me, turning the pages and reading the words out loud. Except, at the tender age of four, I wasn’t as captivated by the writing but mostly by the art. In my mind I began to weave an intricate story of my own, imagining the lives of the caveman holding sticks in his hands and a spark of fire glowing on the ground. The images before me leaped out of the book and immediately found a place in my heart.
Art has always held a special place in my life and has been the single motivator that inspires all of my stories, characters and worlds that exist in my imagination. Often those stories are created when I run across art that absorbs me into itself. Artist Elisabeth Ladwig is one of those artists whose work speaks volumes. I first came to view her work when working as a co-editor for Mind Key’s second anthology, Yin and Yang: The Duality of Balance. Her work caught my eye and spoke to my soul. I decided to check out her website, Elisabeth On Earth, and immediately realized how multidimensional and soulful her art is. Elisabeth lives in West Milford with her husband and finds that living in the New Jersey Highlands offers immense opportunities and inspiration for photographs. Outside one of her home windows stands a forty-foot pear tree, which local bears visit in August. That’s the location for her picture “Truce”.
As I aim to provide inspirational content that relates to art and writing, I knew I had to reach out to her. She accepted to feature on my blog and shared some of her philosophy on art, nature and finding magic in every aspect of life.
‘Elisabeth on Earth’- Is there a special meaning to this chosen title/name?
It actually started as an email address. I didn’t know I would use it professionally one day. What resonates most with me is that the name encompasses both the spiritual and the mundane. While I relate spiritually to Mother Nature and try to learn and grow from that path, I am also very aware that I live in the “real” world with the rest of humanity.
Your ‘About Me’ page mentions your inspiration stems from elements of science, nature and magic. This is beautifully depicted in all of your works. How did you first discover this connection and how do you feel it plays out in everyday life?
I’m not sure what sparked my childhood fascination with the inexplicable. I was in the sixth grade when I announced to my parents that I wanted to do my science fair project on ESP, *laughs*. I can only imagine what they were thinking when I told them. My pitch was that, if ESP exists, then there must be a natural/scientific reason for it that we just don’t understand; otherwise, it wouldn’t happen. I watched the TV show “Little House on the Prairie” growing up, and explained that Laura Ingalls would have thought our televisions to be magic boxes.
As an adult, I came to nearly equate the three – science, nature, and magic -and exploring their connections fueled my interest in learning about our true potential in our daily lives, about how we can manifest meaningful positive change, about perspective, awareness, and subjectivity. I return to these themes regularly when I get stuck in my own life, and they tend to appear in my work even when I haven’t planned it.