‘My artwork and jewellery explore colour and form, and I feel that one informs the other. Metal clay is such an exciting progression; and this medium explores my distinct signature painting style.’
LAURA Elliott’s is a contemporary multimedia artist who is passionate about mixed-media painting and creating metal clay jewellery with genuine gemstones. She has exhibited her art within the UK since 1995, in group shows, showing paintings and sculptures. The year, 2006 saw the beginning of the next level of her career, business and exhibition opportunities when she got registered as a self-employed artist, Since then, she has artworks displayed in private collections through group and solo exhibitions, memberships and online galleries.
From 2007 to 2009, Laura Elliot ran the International Association of Two and Three Dimensional Artists (IATTDA) which represented, exhibited, united and promoted over a hundred artists from around the world, standing for: Integrity, Quality and Diversity.
From 2002, the focus of her paintings is what has come to be known as the ‘Moods Series’. “Influenced by my experiences from countries I have visited around the world, my mental images and natural forms. I have explored bright and subdued colours, abstraction and simple brush strokes to connote form to the viewer. Texture and colour is achieved by using sand, glass, gold leaf, gilding flakes and genuine gemstone granules.”
Since 2009, she has begun to broaden her ‘Moods Series’ of painting techniques in concert with my secondary passion of metal clay jewellery in silver, copper and bronze. “Metal clay jewellery I create are sculptural and organic in nature and I will be moving forward with this series to create an exciting ‘Landscape Gems’ jewellery series designed from my ‘Landscape Moods’ paintings.”
Laura’s art journey has been akin to a roller coaster ride. Her education has been her most significant experiences and achievements within her work, which have guided her work with new ideas and concepts and given her confidence. Talking to IRIS ART MAG, she said, “It was during the educational experiences that I learnt how to create art in mediums such as ceramics and photography, and where I found my passion for painting. My paintings are a mixture of memory, emotion shown through colour and ideas from photographs I have taken travelling around the world. I think that I have always had a need to create, with it being quite a cathartic process which allows my feelings to be shown within my art.”
About her life philosophy, Laura says, “My life philosophy also applies to my view of the arts. I have always aimed to treat others as I would wish to be treated myself. I have also followed one mind set with galleries and the art market…. ‘What is the worse that can happen, that they say no!?'” Her parents have been a constant source of inspiration, encouragement and support for her. She says, “In addition, my family and friends have always loved me, given me support and always had belief in my artistic and academic abilities, for which I am eternally grateful.”
About her art training, she says, “My art training has been gained through four educational achievements. Primarily, I developed my work whilst attending school within GCSE and A Level. In 2002, I decided to follow my artistic passion and I began to study for an art degree; something I always thought was a ‘pipe dream’. To be accepted into an art degree I required additional qualifications to GCSE’s and A Levels and I, therefore, decided to study an Art and Design Access Diploma. This qualification covered a wide range of disciplines and enabled me to decide which course I would wish to pursue. The mediums I studied include: fine art (painting, print making, life drawing), art theory, photography and sculpture (ceramic and metal work). In 2003, I was accepted and successfully studied an Art and Media BA (Hons), during which I specialized, both practically and academically, in Fine Art and Photography.”
Laura fondly recalls her early years in these words, “It is often said that many artists have always been creative. I do know this applies to me; from my parent’s vivid memories of my early creations, aged three years, of tiny home-made pizzas with each topping distinguishable, in proportion and clear. I always gravitated to creative and imaginative projects and this included play at home and lessons at school. When I reached the age of 13, I found two mediums which I still adore to work with to this day: clay and paint.
“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 who 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. I would say there was two things as a child that I loved to do, be creative and speak with other people.
“When I moved into my late teens and early 20s, I found painting a solace, with music and emotion impacting on the subject matter, colour palette and how I painted each piece. This way of self-expression has stayed with me; with my university work exploring this is more depth.”
About the earliest phase of her life as a young artist, Laura says, “Freedom of my self expression is of paramount importance to me and I have significantly created art to express my inner self since being a teenager. I find it very cathartic and this is why I adore every aspect of creativity. The moment of my first painting sale and a commission inspired by sold paintings was an immense buzz, as it showed to me how others enjoyed my work and that has propelled me forward.”
About her favourite genre and style in art, she says, “My first and most enduring love is Picasso and his cubist artworks, exploring colour, perspective and the transition of three-dimensional objects into a two-dimensional framework. I believe art that resonates and moves me on a personal level has the most long lasting influence on my work. The deepest reaction I experienced was around 1996, when I visited the Tate Modern. I walked into this high ceiling room and was faced with an enormous series of paintings by Mark Rothko. The works and atmosphere had a profound impact, causing me to cry and need to sit down. After a short time, I read the information on the artworks and the pieces were painted during a dark emotional period in Rothko’s life. Certainly, this was what caused me to cry, feeling like the artworks and colours swallowed me into his life. I can understand his need to express himself in this manner, something I have in common with artists such as Rothko.”
When asked to describe her aim in art, she smiled, “My aim is simple. I want to have others gain as much enjoyment viewing and owning my artwork as I do when I create them. It might sound clichéd saying this, but it is how I honestly feel. Art contains such a rich mixture of concepts, emotions and ideas; I feel it is an essential part of our journey in life, even if we don’t consciously know it.”
About the most recent change in her life, she says, “The most significant change is gaining representation with the gallery, Degree Art. It has been a revelation, reigniting my passion for my ‘Moods’ series of paintings and enabled my work in metal clay to find an audience. The paintings ‘Landscape Moods 1′ and ‘Landscape Moods 2′ have been fundamental to my current portfolio. This new chapter in my career has made it possible for my work to be collected by a new group of clients.”
‘I have explored bright and subdued colours, abstraction and simple brush strokes to connote form to the viewer. Texture and colour is achieved by using sand, glass, gold-leaf, gilding flakes and genuine gemstone granules. These techniques are utilized in both painting and sculpture’
About how she underwent different phases in her art life: she say, “I am unsure if it is my life or my art that has had different phases. The choice of working in the nursing field from the age of 18 until I was 23 meant that there was a period of time that I was not artistic. I found that at 23 I felt the passion to create returned and my dream to study for an art degree became a reality. Upon gaining my Art and Media honours degree, I found my work as an artist took a new step forward when I began to sell my paintings in 2006. The first piece of work I sold was a painting commission titled ‘Landscape Moods 6′ with a client in New York. That sale really proved a big boost for me and I never looked back from that moment. I believe the representation of London-based Degree Art gallery in 2013 was fundamental. Their support of my work within the art market means I sell my work alongside an energetic mix of graduate artists.”
Laura found that becoming a professional artist and gaining her degree, she found the process of education and study a revelation — exploring and specializing in Fine Art and Photography. “I enjoyed the cross-links within the two mediums, as well as the technical elements. In addition, I certainly loved the theoretical aspects of the arts, exploring this within my dissertation, the female self portrait. However, the paintings ‘Landscape Moods 1′ and ‘Landscape Moods 2′ have been fundamental to my current portfolio. They were created in 2003, before I studied my degree, so I think both the courses have changed my perception, developing my work as an artist.”
Laura believes that her art is something very personal. “I feel that each piece within the ‘Landscape Moods’ series expresses my emotions at the time of painting. It is my visual diary of how I feel my life and experiences. I often find it a difficult process showing my work to the world, with the hope that others will enjoy them enough to buy them. However, the rewards when I exhibit and sell my work always supersede any negative feelings I may hold and find that it motivates me. I feel it can be a type of validation to sell.”
About old masters who inspired here, she says, “I have visited countless exhibitions and have explored a large range of mediums both practically and from academic reading. I have enjoyed viewing Cypriot English artist Tracey Emin’s work, feeling that her freedom of her self and her personal experiences in life move me, as she is such an open book.
“In addition, contemporary British painter Jenny Saville and American photographer Nan Goldin, but the artist I feel I relate to and am directly inspired by is the British contemporary artist Maggi Hambling due to her passion for expression of her life and visual diary. Maggi’s work is expressive, fascinating and her passion for the arts and other artists work is something I admire and hope to emulate.”
About her foremost ambition in life, Laura says, “As an artist, I simply wish to continue to exhibit and sell my work. I adore the freedom to explore new ideas and links between my paintings and the metal clay designs I began to create in 2013. My ‘Landscape Moods’ paintings link directly to my new ‘Landscape Gems’ series of jewellery, in silver, copper, bronze — metal and clays — which is a type of wearable art. I view them as a mini ‘Landscape Moods’ painting in a piece of jewellery that can be worn everyday. From a personal viewpoint, I hope for all my family and friends to be healthy and happy.”
Laura is passionate about emerging artists gaining new opportunities. She says, “The galleries around the UK are a competitive market and representation is often expensive and saturated. However, I believe that the art market is diverse, with the internet as a tool to gain new exposure and opportunities. My online gallery of my work featured with Degree Art Gallery is a crucial aspect to my sales and is something I am proud of.”
Her work is constantly evolving and progressing. “Since 2013, I have expanded my work into the exciting new medium of metal clay, drawing on my ceramic experience since the age of 15. My ‘Moods’ series of paintings work in concert with the secondary passion of metal clay jewellery in fine silver, copper and bronze. These ‘Landscape Gems’ wearable art jewellery pieces are sculptural and organic, featuring a range of media with the aim to create a unique and collectable series of jewellery. “I am also developing my ‘Landscape Moods’ series of paintings exploring design ideas and gaining inspiration from effects within other mediums, such as photography sepia colours, with a new twist of colours and techniques. I am also using: acrylic paint — both gloss and matte effects, sand, glass beads, ink texturing and stamping, embossing, candles, newspaper, salt, conté pastels, oil pastels, gemstone granules, mica powder, and sponge painting techniques.”
She says, “I know my art will last far past my lifetime. I always take heart that my work has had an impact on those I love, and who buy my work, sharing with them my life in a visual diary. In essence share myself and who I am as a person.”Her artist statement is: “I am a contemporary, multi-media artist who is passionate about mixed-media painting and creating metal clay jewellery with genuine gemstones.
“Since 2002, the focus of my paintings is what has come to be known as the ‘Moods Series’. Influenced by my experiences from countries I have visited around the world, my mental images and natural forms. I have explored bright and subdued colours, abstraction and simple brush strokes to connote form to the viewer. Texture and colour is achieved by using sand, glass, gold-leaf, gilding flakes and genuine gemstone granules. These techniques are utilized in both painting and sculpture.
“And since 2009, I have begun to broaden my ‘Moods Series’ of painting designs and techniques in concert with my secondary passion of metal clay jewellery in silver, copper and bronze called the ‘Landscape Gems’ series. This high quality, collectable jewellery is designed directly from my ‘Landscape Moods’ paintings. Metal clay can be worked like traditional ceramic clay which, once kiln fired, turns into solid metal. These ‘wearable art’ jewellery pieces are sculptural and organic which are designed with a range of media, including: fine 999 silver/ copper/bronze metal clay, high quality 100 per cent genuine gemstones, gemstone granules, gleams, mica powder, solid silver, enamel and recycled elements such as watch parts.
“My metal clay jewellery is inspired by my love of genuine gemstones in facetted and bead form. Media such as wire, beading thread, metal findings, charms and polymer clay, provides me the opportunity to further develop the beautiful pieces of jewellery in this series, by using these additional materials. All these elements enhance the unique fingerprint of Mother Nature found within all genuine gemstones featured. My artwork and jewellery both explore colour and form and I feel that one informs the other. Metal clay is such an exciting progression and this medium explores my distinct signature painting style.”
She advises art buyers, “Do not be afraid to buy online. You can commission artwork which is an exciting process and something I am experienced in. My series ‘Landscape Moods’ can be tailored to your choice of sizes or colour scheme to fit your home or office.” — KR