#Elizabeth Knowles is a visual artist who uses a variety of mediums in her paintings and sculptures. Elizabeth holds a BA and MFA and has appeared in a variety of exhibitions in 2016 including an installation on Governors Island. Recently, she spoke about her experiences as an #Artist

Origins 

Blasting News (BN): How did you become an artist?

Elizabeth Knowles (EK): Art making has always been a huge part of my daily activity. My family had an intense interest in nature’s cycles that had a strong impact on me. My parents influenced me profoundly through their sense of wonder, enjoyment and respect for natural processes, and also in their appreciation in how the visual arts can deepen the human experience of the physical world and its underlying patterns.

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I filled notebook upon notebook with images and stories of plants, trees, animals and humans.

BN: Growing up, which artists/types of art interested you? 

EK: I was mesmerized with the work of Georgia O’Keefe and her elegant portrayal of the magic of the Western landscape. Later I fell madly in love with the joy, color and lyricism of Matisse’s swirling shapes; I was completely wowed by his cutouts.  I had never seen an artist create a whole visual environment in conjunction with the existing architectural space!

BN: What inspires your work?

EK: My work depicts patterns of growth and form in nature by examining these patterns from a variety of perceptual levels. Through painting, sculpture and site-specific installation, I explore how dynamic patterns connect landscapes and life forms, physiology and physics, death and detritus, light and darkness.

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BN: How did you get into galleries? 

EK: I approached or was approached by galleries with similar aesthetic concerns. I continue to send out proposals for site specific installations in spaces or environments. I generally show my paintings and sculpture in traditional gallery settings but I love showcasing my work in less mainstream environments.

BN: Do you have a favorite piece?

EK: I don’t have a favorite. Sometimes I love the larger more installation-focused work because the color and rhythms can embody and interact in a space in an all-encompassing way. I also like having a more intimate experience with the quiet simplicity of a small painting or sculpture.

BN: What are your mediums of choice?

EK: I love working with acrylics and different polymers. By layering clear pools of acrylic polymers with textural applications of acrylic paints and gels, I experiment with a variety of textures and effects similar to the fluid qualities of the microscopic world. In sculpture I let the concept of the individual piece or installation suggest the materials.

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I would like to work more with found and recycled objects.

Rewards 

BN: What is most rewarding about being an artist?

EK: The biggest challenges are usually the most rewarding like my recent large scale collaborations with artist William Thielen. Our outdoor installations blend together our different directions and processes. For three summers we have joined forces to make several temporary site-specific outdoor installations. While the actual installations are much larger than anything I would construct creating alone, the work still springs from a fascination of examining organic patterns on a variety of scales.

BN: What advice would you give to aspiring artists? 

EK: Experiment! Take risks! Have fun! Life is short so if your art making is not inspiring, invigorating or challenging then maybe you are on the wrong path.

BN: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events that you want to mention? 

EK: I will be exhibiting with the Sculptors Guild for their annual fundraiser at the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation in October as well as their 80th year celebration and exhibition at Westbeth Gallery in February. Both galleries are in Manhattan. My work will also be included in the American Twist exhibit at the Antenna Gallery in New Orleans in March. #Interview