|Elizabeth J. White,|
at an art show.
Elizabeth White creates her art at home in Easley, South Carolina. Working mainly in acrylic, she does not limit herself. White also uses oil, watercolor, pencil, charcoal and other mediums in creating her art. She considers her style as traditional and she also experiments with different forms of art. Her works are sometimes abstract as well as portrait, landscape and fantasy. "I love to paint, and create; I don't want to sound cliche but to me art is me - who I am as a person." Artworks by White are on display in Greenville, SC at Les Beaux Art, in the village of West Greenville.
Elizabeth White introduces herself:
I have been told my first creation was on mama's pots and pans. I can't say I am from anywhere really; I was born on an airforce base, the middle of three children, so we traveled often. Creating art from memories is something I love doing. I draw inspiration from the old adage, "The best things in life are free" and they truly are, like a church on the hillside overlooking fields of grain, little children playing with all the wonderment of their first experience of the leaves changing color, a quiet day on a old tire swing by the lake. Many things that inspire me, my granddaughter my family, my country, events, one thing is I always give myself in my art, from something that touches me and warms my heart to something so wonderful that I see and the colors stand out vividly... even from dreams, I love to paint, and in between my paintings I love to sketch; and in all my art I feel I leave something of myself.
How long have you considered yourself an artist?
Some of my friends and family members have called me that for years now, but when my
sister passed away, I promised I would show my work. And so, for only about five years now I have been showing and selling my art. You might say I am a late bloomer as far as putting my work out in the public eye. Now that things are starting to come together, I want to honor my late sis and use art to raise funds to find a cure for cancer. This is so dear to my heart, as is my sister.
Tell me about your first experience creating in your current medium:
My very first painting in acrylic was at the age of ten. My Uncle Ron, now retired as a commercial artist for an airline, gave me tips on drawing horses. He lived far from us, so I began practicing over and over, so that when he came back for a visit I was ready with my art, to get his critique. I was so thrilled when he told me I was now doing horses better than him! I realize now how he was encouraging me because I still have that first horse in my portfolio book 1971 and I can tell now that poor horse had some issues. I have to say, for a shy girl, that was the spark to light the fire which I have felt within me since as far back as I can recall.
What things inspire you to create art?
First of all the world around me, My granddaughter who is my light, my country, my family, music, sunset, sunrise, a great mountain view or a picnic by the lake. All these and more.
What are you trying to convey through your art? What does it mean to you?
I guess in light of all the bad going on in the world I would hope someone, in viewing my art could have a warm sweet feeling to take away with them. I hope it reminds them of the things we have here and need to appreciate, that don't cost a dime. I hope to take the viewer to a simple place in time and in all my art I leave a object sometimes easy to find sometimes hard to find which I save for the viewer to find.
|The Great Hunt With Daughter © Elizabeth J. White|
Tell me about influences:
Firstly my sis and my Uncle Ron. Some of the greats, Norman Rockwell; and the late painter of lights Thomas Kinkade, who inspired a series of watercolor paintings I did called "lights out" which is all natural lights in the night skies.
Tell me about your creative process, from the beginning of a work to its completion:
Ok it may seem like a crazy frenzy, but many times I will sketch out things over and over and then it comes to me - what to paint. I guess If I had to think about my process it would be first, to get my canvas ready and primed. Then if I am doing, for instance, a lake I will lay out my lines just to know where things will go, and figure in which way the light is coming and where my shadows are. And then I begin painting. I am hoping to get more equipment so I can go to locations and paint more landscapes in open air.
What exposure have you had?
I have been in Greenville, South Carolina's Art in the Park, the Greenwood Festival of Flowers arts and crafts and Art of Recovery 2011, 2012, and 2013. I am now showing with many other talented artist at Les Beaux Arts; I am on wall six.
What is the most unexpected reaction someone had to your art?
Once I saw a photograph and decided to paint from it. I thought my work was nothing like the photograph though. The owner of the photo contacted me and asked if it was for sale. They bought it for $400.00, what a shock!
Do you have any regrets in your life as an artist?
Baby J © Elizabeth J. White
|Blue-eyed Boy © Elizabeth J. White|
Yes, I wished I had done this and gained exposure at a younger age.
What plans do you have for the future of your art?
I want to grow, I know some may say "at 52, isn't it a bit late?" but I want to study under a master artist. I am always ready to learn at any point in my life. My goal is to one day close in my car-port and make it into a real working studio. One that will be handicap-accessible and have its own entrance. I would like to have a dedicated place to create. Something I would really like to get other artists on board with working on a collection dear to my heart, what I call the pink collection. This collection would be for a campaign I want to call Tyra's Triumph in honor of my late sis, who lost her battle to breast cancer. I hope to get each artist, including my self, to do a work that is pink or has something pink in it. Then a silent auction would be held and the proceeds go to cancer research to find a cure. It is my hope and prayer that nobody should have to go through what I have witnessed my loved ones going through. Cancer research is more important to me than you can ever know; cancer has touched my dad, his brother and sister in the same year, and then two more sisters to cancer. It's time to stop it, and I want to use art as tool to do just that.
Do you have any advice for artists just getting started?
Oh yes, to begin with - and I know this has been said before - but if you want to be an artist to make money, you will never truly be an artist. I feel it has to come from within, a hunger from your soul to want to create something: something new and fresh, day in and day out and never tire of it, if this is how you feel you are already an artist. I also personally feel you always have to be willing to learn and say to your self I don't know everything there is to know and be ready to continue your education and learning always.
I would also like to point out that you don't have to have all the fancy tools, if you have colored paint, paint, if you have a pencil, draw, if you have a surface that will tolerate paint let that be your canvas. Don't sit around waiting for something to happen with your art - make it happen, don't give up, and keep elephant-skin, because not everyone is going to like what you do.
Tell me an interesting personal story from your life relating to art:
I painted a picture of Monks at a New Year's Festival an idea which came from a friend I had as a child, he was my pen pal in Thailand he was also a friend of my dad. My dad was stationed over there and I was sad a lot so he introduced me through letters to Nippon. He taught me much of his way of life and their culture. One thing I remember was about the way the people would give the poor food when they came through the village once a day, and then taught me about the New Year's festival and so that is a painting from my personal life experience.
How do you promote your art both on and off the internet?
I am on different websites, I have a small bio on Les Beaux Arts website I have put work up in Easley at Starving Artist Cafe and have actually sold something there. Additionally, I have work in Pickens, Greenville and Columbia, South Carolina.
|Dirt Road Home © Elizabeth J. White|
Have you sold any of your artworks? If so, how?
Yes my first show was at a gallery where I wanted to learn about abstract art. It was something I didn't really care about at that time, now I know it is because I knew so little about it. And so, I took about six one-hour classes. I sold a painting for $300.00 called Banjo Boy and a $200.00 painting, and then I have sold some smaller work.
|Whoopi © Elizabeth J. White|
Visit her personal artist gallery site
Visit her Lesbeaux gallery website
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Facebook: Joan Elizabeth White
and Google+ Elizabeth J. White
© IOUart, Creative Highlight, all images © Elizabeth J. White