m. Elizabeth Lynch is the newest Artist to join Upstairs Studio. She brings some pretty wonderful painting and rendering skills with her to the studios. Come on up and meet the new artist!
m. Elizabeth lynch
My work is representational, but certainly not faithful renderings. I am currently exploring gouache and pastel on Masonite panels and tinkering with the process of wiping out negative spaces to create more painterly edges. Once the negative spaces have been wiped out, I move into the positive space to remove more of the under painting and establish a value pattern. The block-in consists of mid-value hues with the final highlights added at the end. This is a very different method of working when compared to my previous experience with watercolor’s light to dark transitions or my typical oil painting technique of working from dark to light values.
The description of my current working process is idealized. The reality is a bit different. I have to resist moving to detail too quickly, which is a terrible habit that art school didn’t resolve. The work typically begins well, but then enters what I refer to as the “Frankenstein Stage”. In this stage, the work begins to take on some sense of “life”, but turns on its creator making incoherent demands. More than one piece has forced me from the studio in despair wondering what I could do to make peace with it and perhaps work out some kind of truce. It’s at this stage that I really find breakthroughs and my most valuable lessons. Of course, I love it when the work gives itself to me, but I don’t really learn anything. I’m a bit of a coward, but the active imagination does help.
Art making for me is more about the collection of information and the process of interaction with it through drawing and painting. I can become distracted by the way light highlights a person’s brow ridged, cheekbone, nose, and upper lip only to realize that they are waiting for me to respond in what was supposed to be a conversation. I guess it’s my version of an attention deficit disorder. I have often said that the finished piece of work is simply a footprint in the journey, something of a field note of the experience, vital for recall of the information, but not more than a signifier of that moment from the artist’s perspective. When a viewer can make a similar connection to the “note” or take it to an entirely different experience, I feel that the piece has succeeded.
I’ve given a lot of thought to a synthesizing theme for a body of work that will explore my life and how I came to be who I am. My hope is that I will gain insights into some of my insecurities and life views.
I am currently in the process of exploring new techniques. Along with the technical process of exploration, I will be developing visual metaphors as I explore challenging periods of my life and creating a kind of visual lexicon for those life experiences.
We’ll see where that takes me.