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Art & Life with Elizabeth Decker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Decker.

Elizabeth, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’ve been thinking a lot about “personal story” and how our personal stories connect us through our emotional, human experience. As I move through life, I think a lot about my “chapters.” It’s interesting to reflect on:  where we began, where we are today and the mystery of where we will be tomorrow. I like to write and like many little girls, began with a diary…I don’t know who first gave me one, but I fiercely protected it. It was a place I could explore my private thoughts, needs, wants, desires and secrets. It came with a lock and key. Remember those? In time, I grew confident enough to share my thoughts and ended up publishing my first book, The Melancholy Girls: A Journal of Discovery, which is a collection of poetry and prose embracing my emotional state of being without apology. I also happened to illustrate it, and that was the beginning of expressing myself not only as a writer but also as a visual artist. Art, like writing, became an organic way for me to process and communicate what was going on in my head, my relationship with self and that with the external world.

Recently, I made a decision to have life experiences outside my comfort zone, so I went to Mexico, London, Italy, and Cuba. I blogged, I painted a lot…I was actually very prolific in London, and the work changed because my story changed. I went through a minimalist phase, which was kind of fun. Not trying too hard at all. Sometimes an egg is just an egg.

I’m creating my story when I wake up, at the beginning of each day and I no longer have to have all the answers. I don’t need to know where I’m going. I don’t need to know how it’s going to work. I just need to show up and see what happens. There’s a lot of grace in that.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I’m an abstract, mostly figurative, painter. I work mainly with acrylic on canvas but I’m not limited, and it’s funny you ask because I’m beginning to go in an entirely new direction: Sculpture! I have no idea what the actual piece is going to look like or how I’m going to make it, but I have a vision of giant heads stuck on the end of long metal poles.

I usually end up with faces, and it’s not intentional, it’s just what appears. My process is organic. It begins with a mood; something I’m trying to work out emotionally, whether I’m affected by a personal relationship or something happening in the external world. The mood suggests a color which is my starting point. I begin to drip, swipe or pour paint on large pieces of canvas I stretch out on the floor, and in time, the figure begins to show itself. It can actually be really frustrating not knowing where I’m going, but it ends up being an exercise in patience or an exorcism.

Again, why I create goes back to the need to connect through story, first with self and then with the outside world. When I have a show I’m very interested in how someone else connects to the work and the connection is not necessarily through the image but how the image “speaks” to a viewer and the next thing I know we’re swapping stories and bonding through our similarities.

I’m sitting in a place now where I feel we need to come together through our shared experiences NOT our differences; celebrating who we are instead of isolating ourselves. We’re all part of the same tribe, are we not? “WE” being the key.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
If it feels good, do it. Create. Explore. Experiment Expand. PLAY. Don’t get so hung up on the outcome or what you think it’s supposed to look like. There’s a lot of freedom in allowing yourself To Be, so everything else –a sale, a show, an interview– it’s all icing!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I have a show coming up May 19th introducing my new work: The Odyssey of Elizabeth Shaw, so please come if you happen to be in Austin. Coincidently, it’s the second weekend of the West Austin Studio Tour so you will absolutely get to visit a lot of talented artists during the tour.

You can schedule an appointment to visit my home studio, and I’ll walk you through the work, share my story and hope you will share yours.

I’m working on a solo show to be presented at Bolm Studio, which is going to be a multi-media event: painting, film, and sculptures all examining “personal story”.

I’m represented by the Gloria Delson Contemporary Art Gallery in Los Angeles. I’m a contributing artist in CASA’s LA’s Annual Wine and Art Gala, and I’m involved in the EAST and WEST Studio Tours in Austin.

If you happen to be in Frosinone, Italy, I have three pieces on display at the Palazzo della Provincia di Frosinone.

I do have a website and Instagram account as well.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Deb Kern – Personal photo
Elizabeth Decker – Art photos

Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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