What gardens, flowers or spices, have inspired you over time?
I love the rose parade. I’m very overwhelmed by the fragrances and the mass quantity. I have been to where they are grown in fields and been up-close to the floats. I love roses – any kind of rose garden.
What countryside’s have you drawn inspiration from?
I love the poppy fields.
What is your garden like? Do you plant, nurture, change it, compose it?
I have bamboo plants in my house. Haven’t been able to have a garden for a long time.
What fanciful, organic, or exotic patterns from nature are re-interpreted in your art?
I use the meandering stems, the lush green manicured lawns, and the intricate rose. I also like the decadence of decay that nature evolves into -patterns of metamorphosis.
How do blooms in your art capture abundance, fecundity, size, color with such a spiritual zest?
The rose is the essence of beauty. It has all the properties of harmony and meditation. It is symmetrical, concentric, repetitive, balanced…and the focal point is the center. The seductive spiral draws the viewer to her lips. The aroma of its nectar dilutes functionality. My work stimulates those factors through color and scent. I use healing oils of honeysuckle, jasmine, cedar, and lavender to evoke a synchronism of seeing color and smelling vapors.
Take us to your vantage point. Do you take short trips into nature to paint alone?
Yes, My connection to nature is through plein air painting. The color and light is ever changing and mystifying.
What are the most common motifs you use for your work, and how have evolved over the years?
I use the motif of the rose. My first paint-by-number was a yellow rose. I first started using the rose as a metaphor when I returned to school. I have painted them, sculpted them, excreted them. Previously I made them and then sprayed the surface. Now I add the colors to the product before I excrete it from cake-decorating tools.
Do you generally work with variations on a theme?
No…I generally let the experience happen subconsciously. Then I decipher what I think has emerged.
Is there a season in which you create art more?
No…I’m creating work all year round. However I do think that events and mood may determine what kind of work I produce.
Are the effects more modified by the time of day, the sun, the cloud cover, the weather?
The product I use is affected by the conditions of climate and humidity. It remains wet to long if it is cold..and if it is to humid it turns mushy very quickly. I work indoors, and I like to work when it is partially overcast. Otherwise, if the sun is shining I would rather be outdoors at the beach.
How do the materials you use re-contextualize your subject matter?
I use a plastic polymer to create my roses. The rose no longer is fragile; it is flexible and sturdy. The polymer rose is immortal; withstanding decay. It can be touched without wilting.
What is your technical process creating art… tools, preparation, and process?
I use a variety of cake-decorating tools. It is an additive sculpture technique. I am a custom cake decorator. One day I needed to problem solve really quickly because I didn’t have time to carve (subtractive process) so I problem-solved by turning to a fast, immediate solution.
Did you explore new materials, compositional devices, or new themes for this show?
I’m generally not one to jump into theme shows, but once I had my head around the fact and seasons can be metaphorically translated into something personal for me, I was on board. I used color as the transition of the seasons of nature. I decided to use the rose as the metaphor for the seasons of a females life as she transitions through these seasons. I have always used the rose as a symbol of beauty and had kept the rose fresh, as a bud, or a firm new rose. It was transitional for me to make the autumn rose and the winter rose, and have them be just as beautiful. I enjoyed classifying color as a metaphor for youth, adolescence, transition, and sage. I reference the colors used in advertising to target certain age groups.
What is your artistic temperament? Do you work fast, slow? Alone or in more social environment?
I definitely work alone. I circle around my idea for as long as it takes, gathering materials, and mentally walking through the idea. I need to have everything available and near me so that I merely reach for it, rather than stop to search for it. I load all the bags with the appropriate colors with the appropriate tips.. The roses are made days ahead of time to dry enough to handle them later. I generally have hundreds of roses all over my studio getting ready for an event. I call the making of my art an event, because it is done very quickly, like a performance piece. I don’t scrape it off to do it again. It is calligraphy… pre-thought line work choreographed with sensual automatism.
Does your art have a literal reality or does art invoke mood or sexuality?
My art can be seen as decorative.. it is pretty to look at, and color saturated. However, I think of the rose as symbolic metaphor so I hope the viewer can join me with that. My work is based in sensuality.
What literary inspiration drives your art? Is your work allegorical?
I am a fan of Emily Dickinson. Death as a metaphor for transformation. My work isn’t allegorical..I am not trying to instruct anyone. Thought provoking , I hope.
What art historical inspiration are you profoundly influenced by?
Dutch botanical painters. Asian calligraphy. Michelangelo. Impressionists.
What other contemporary artists, do you feel closely connected to because of the kind of work they do?
Fashion and fabric designers. Frank Gehry. Jeff Koons. Mia Angelou.
Is there a work you are particularly moved by in the show, by another artist? If so why? What do you want us to know about that work?
Linda Pizzuto’s artwork. I like all the transitional spaces she creates with layers of translucent colors.. Mesmerizing portal , yet makes us aware of our mortal consciousness with the bling bling.
What is a major project that you’ve worked on recently?
Three major projects at the end of 2010… sculpture installation at Cal Poly, a site-specific installation at Angel’s Gate, LA, and a site-specific installation at Riverside Arts Project.
Let us know what other projects are on the horizon?
Installing a sculpture/installation piece for a show in Pomona in July. Installing a sculpture/installation and artwork in LA on 4th street gallery in September.
-Curator for “The Four Seasons of Flora and Spice,” Charity Burnett
The “The Four Seasons of Flora and Spice,” exhibition runs thru Saturday, June 23d at “The Loft at Liz’s” www.TheLoftAtLizs.com