|"Still Life with Sunflowers and Apples" original oil painting by Elizabeth Floyd|
It's Friday Feature time. I hope that you're Holiday prep is nearing an end and that you can enjoy this wonderful Holiday Season.
Today I have a wonderful feature, Elizabeth Floyd. I found Elizabeth's work through blogging a few years ago. I have followed her since I first saw her beautiful still life paintings. Since that time she has had a beautiful little girl and it has been fun to see how that journey has had an impact on her art. I'm sharing her artist's statement below:
As an artist, I am inspired to share my fascination with others,
developing scenes that evoke emotion, spur a remembrance, and find a
way to communicate an observed detail. I view the process of painting
as an opportunity to display layers of contemplation; each layer
representing design fundamentals that, when combined, become a cohesive
When composing and painting a work of art, I search for two
aspects important to me. The first is to determine the sense of
meaning conveyed in the individual objects of a scene. The second is
to explore how the composition can harmoniously communicate a combined,
deeper sense of meaning when the whole is composed together. It is
this process of investigation and discovery that draws me in and
inspires me to paint.
To see more of her work visit her blog
|"December Bounty" original oil painting by Elizabeth Floyd|
How did you get your start? What’s your artist journey so far?
It has been a
circuitous route in becoming an artist. For
years it was a very deep and hidden secret I nurtured, not sharing it with
anyone because I grew up in a family that acknowledged my artistic bent, but
did not encourage it. They wanted me to
pursue a more practical career… so I have a business degree, that I have never
used directly, and I went on to get a Master’s in Architecture degree as
well. This was the closest thing to a
fine arts degree I was brave enough to go after when I was in my early
After grad school, I
moved from Texas to DC, to start anew in a place where I knew no one. I wanted to see what would happen. Within a year of moving to DC, I met my now
husband, and within a year and a half we had married, but it took almost two
more years before I shared with him that deep in my heart I really wanted to be
an artist, not the architect I was.
The loving and
supportive man that he is, he asked how this career shift might be accomplished. I had just turned 30, and for the first time
in my life I had shared this most precious dream, and the most wonderful thing
was that it was encouraged! So I began
taking classes at the local art league,
mostly figurative classes because I liked how rigorous they were, constantly
asking more from me.
Over the next five
years, I took classes, started my blog, and painted during every free moment I
had. We also began to cut back on
luxuries and saving up, so we would be able to adapt to the day when I left
architecture. Then in just under five
years from the time I shared my secret, I made the transition to art, and I
have never looked back.
Where were you born?
I was born in Texas,
but now call Northern Virginia home
|"Autumn Reflections" original oil painting by Elizabeth Floyd|
If you could live anywhere where would you live?
I live where I want
to live, Northern Virginia
What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?
I have to say
whatever I am painting at the moment is my favorite thing to paint, however I
do favor still life and landscapes. I am
inspired to capture the sense of beauty found in my subject. My goal is to share this interpretation of
beauty found in the scenes and objects that populate my life, hopefully speaking
to others and encouraging them stop and pause, and maybe appreciate a detail
that would normally be overlooked.
Could you talk about your painting techniques?
I like to paint in a
thoughtful, deliberate way. I work in a
very direct wet into wet manner, however I also believe that the beauty of
working in oil paints is to take advantage of the medium and to paint in lots
Some of my favorite
paintings will be worked on over a series of painting sessions, sometimes for
two weeks, and sometimes with months between sessions, thus allowing the
painting to develop. Some paintings just
need that time to breath. With each new
layer of paint, a quality of depth is achieved, making for a more rich viewing
|"Still Life with Crabapples, Hydrangea and Canning Jar" original oil painting by Elizabeth Floyd|
Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?
I do not have any
go-to colors or paints, I use a large palette of colors, 2-3 whites, and then
typically I have 30-35 colors squeezed out on the palette for every painting
session. Because I try to paint every
day, paint is hardly ever wasted.
Each color has its
use, I often select a paint for a particular passage based on what I need at
the specific moment, is a transparent or opaque paint required, does it need to
be warm or cool in color temperature. So
I find it to be very important to understand all the characteristics of the
paint on my palette, as it helps inform my decisions.
|"Lemon and Silver Cup" original oil painting by Elizabeth Floyd|
Do you have a favorite artist? Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I have so many
favorites, all for different reasons, but at this moment I have to say Franz
Hals. I just love his control, his
sensitivity to his sitters, and the amazing bravado brush handling. It looks so controlled however if you step
close to his work, you see how impressionistic his technique was.
What have been some of your crowning achievements?
It may not be
directly related to art, but I have to say having my first child last year is
something I am most proud of. She has
made me a better person, and as a result I think my work has evolved also.
What are five things you would like to happen in your life
in the next five years? Dream big here:)
Hmmm, there are a
lot of things I want to accomplish in life… They all seem to revolve around art
and family… 1) I want to make sure I
always grow as an artist, never stop exploring and learning how to better express
myself. 2) And then there is the desire
to better balance the demands of caring for my family while also wanting to be
in the studio painting. 3) Along with my
desire to teach my daughter to be an engaged little person, recently I have had
a strong urge to start teaching workshops.
So this is my big dream for 2013, I want to teach some still-life
painting workshops. 4) And if the local workshops go well, I would
love to then graduate to teaching workshops in beautiful and exotic places like
in the Bahamas, Mexico, or Belize… somewhere warm, tropical, and full of
color. How fun would it be to paint all
the tropical flowers and fruit found in one of these locations! …5)
Oh, I cannot really think of another thing, I just want to keep things
together and make the most of the daily moments that make life so special.
What is your advice for other artists who are just
getting started in their career?
Be true to yourself,
And while always
listening to yourself, be willing to study and emulate great artists. Strive to copy a masterpiece or the
techniques of an admired instructor, because you will learn tons by trying to
paint like another, you will be learning the craft of art making by deductive
reasoning which asks so much more of you.
By learning all you can and becoming so proficient with the medium you
predominately work with that it becomes second nature, you will be free to
express yourself with ease. Enabling
you to follow your own path with the skills picked up along the way.
|"Petunias II" original oil painting by Elizabeth Floyd|
What is the best advice that you have received as an
Slow down and really
look at what is in front of you. Slow
down and work in small areas if that is what it takes for you to understand the
details. As you get better at seeing,
you will be able to absorb larger areas at a time. Slow down and enjoy the process, don’t think
of a painting as a race, something that needs to be completed in an hour, a
day, or even a week, allow the experience to be your guide.
|"Posy of Flowers" original oil painting by Elizabeth Floyd|
Chocolate or vanilla?
Your dream vacation spot?
A warm sunny beach with
crystal clear and turquoise water
Book or movie? Book
Favorite author? Anything by Jane Austin
Favorite movie? We are entering the Christmas season, and I
love to watch “Nightmare before Christmas” this time of year
Romance or comedy? I
like rom-coms, hence why Jane Austin is my favorite author…
Favorite dessert? Chocolate chip cookies with homemade vanilla
Night owl or morning person? Night
owl turned into a morning person