Featured Artist Elizabeth Grima shares her artistic journey and how she built a successful art business.
Be sure to visit all of the places Elizabeth showcases her art. The links are located on the bottom of the interview.
Featured Artist Elizabeth Grima
Dave – Hello Elizabeth and thank you for joining me today. To get started, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you are from and how you got started creating art.
Elizabeth – Hi Dave, It’s good to be here!
I have been creating art since I was old enough to pick up a crayon. I grew up in Warrington, Cheshire, where I lived with my Mum, Dad, and sister.
Drawing was just a normal fun thing to do.
My Mum would paint too so I guess that probably influenced my creativity.
I now live in St Helens Merseyside.
Dave – I really enjoy the way you use light and the warm, vibrant colors in your paintings. Do you use oils, acrylics or watercolor?
Elizabeth – My preferred medium at the moment is acrylics.
It is such an adaptable medium to use.
When I want to work freely and bold with big brushes and thick paint, it works! Small delicate paintings, it works just as well and I can overpaint the parts that aren’t working for me, without waiting forever for it to dry.
Dave – How did your style and color palette evolve over time?
Elizabeth – My style and colour pallet has changed as I have evolved as a person.
My art has become more colourful, exuberant and meaningful.
It has always been done with great care and attention to either realism or cute imagined realism but now precise lines to describe an idea are not the most important things.
My current work has to exude feelings and my passion for life and the beauty of nature.
I am much more aware of the way colours bring out the best in each other now.
Dave – You art clearly portrays your passion for life and the beauty of nature.
You offer commissioned work on your website. When did you start creating commissioned work and what is your experience working with clients who hire you to create an original painting?
Elizabeth – As a kid who could draw, I was often asked to draw things!
I think that then progressed to me doing many many pencil drawings from photos along with the occasional painted portrait, here and there.
I can’t remember all the pictures I have created!
So although I have only put myself out there as an artist who takes commissions in the last couple of years, the foundation for doing commissioned work has been there a long time.
It is a great responsibility to accept a commission.
Obviously, there have been customers that were difficult to get on the same page with but most people are simply wonderful to work for.
Faces are fascinating to me so portraits both human and animal are great fun to paint.
Dave – I have to agree with you. When I was offering commissioned work I met so many wonderful people.
What makes your artwork unique?
Elizabeth – The glow and dreamy reality, spiked with irrelevant detail. If you ask me again in a year or so the answer may be different though.
Dave – That is a great answer Elizabeth. Art evolves as we grow as people. As the years pass by we learn different techniques that allow us to communicate our message more clearly.
What message would you like your viewers to receive when they look at your artwork?
Elizabeth – Happiness
Dave – You have achieved that Elizabeth.
What art supplies are you using and what would you recommend for new artists to start with?
Elizabeth – This might surprise a lot of people and be against the grain for most serious artists but I am not a ‘it has to be a certain make’ Kind of person.
I would not recommend the kind of paint that you might find in a pound shop.
This will definitely be inferia and give inferia or variable results.
When starting out there is plenty of choice in the not too expensive bracket (student grade) paints.
Artist-grade paints are worth the money when you are ready for them.
There are a few things that even beginners might want to invest in though.
Number one if using acrylics is a decent titanium white paint (for those sparkly highlights) and a detail brush.
You can’t paint detail if the brush doesn’t hold paint well and come to a beautifully formed point.
Dave – That is some great advice.
When did you start selling your art and how did you get started?
Elizabeth – Well as mentioned earlier I did toy with selling art a long time ago but I don’t think that is what you are asking.
My husband and I ran an educational animal business for 10 years which was totally amazing (but totally consuming) so there came a time that we had to re-think our lifestyle.
That is when I started to paint again seriously. You could say I am a bit of an art addict. Once I start I have trouble stopping!
I started to tell people that painting was what I was doing and began looking at places to get my art out in front of potential buyers which has been exciting and I come across so many interesting people too.
Dave – I would like to hear more about your educational animal business. That sounds so interesting.
How do you promote your art online?
Elizabeth – Mainly through social media.
Dave – What tips could you give to new artists who are interested in selling their artwork?
Elizabeth – Don’t wait. Just do it! Learn as you go. I’m not suggesting you give up the day job until you are established and earning but get out there. Get your work out there. Tell the world about your art.
Dave – Perfect advice Elizabeth. I am where I am today because I was willing to take chances and learned from all of the mistakes I made through the process.
Would you mind sharing three of your favorite creations and share the story behind them?
Elizabeth – Of cause. No problem….although I don’t know which to choose? Here goes!
Sunshine and Shadows
Sunshine and shadows – Lots of people have favorite places they like to walk or visit and I certainly do. This was inspired by one of these places. I had so much fun brushing in the shadows. They are very elusive things to get just right. I don’t always use the colours I see. More the colours I feel will create the atmosphere I’m aiming for. I wanted the viewer to be there. To walk into it, maybe sit on the seat and enjoy the view.
Sunset Over Victoria Park
Sunset over Victoria Park – Now this one came about after a lovely evening walk with my husband. The vivid reds and golds of the sun I love to paint. The intensity just captures your attention and with this painting, I wanted to give the viewer room to explore, so I decided to really emphasize the softer pinks and lilacs too. I kept the foreground a bit random and bland, which was actually a lot of fun to do. I didn’t want the foreground to be intrusive in any way or take away from the beauty of the light and the silhouettes of the trees whose natural and intricate forms are quite beautiful.
Suns glare – If nothing else this painting has been a talking point! St Helens has such a distinctive skyline. I loved every minute of painting this picture, even though I had major doubts that it would be liked by anyone but me. It really is true that you can find beauty in everything if you look for it. Yes, this is a painting of a carpark! The actual glare spots were definitely a challenge but I was excited by the sky as soon as I put paint to canvas.
Dave – What social media sites can people follow you on?
Elizabeth – Facebook https://www.facebook.com/littlelizhappyart
Dave – Where can people purchase your art?
Elizabeth – I exhibit my work regularly… Currently, I have a display of paintings in the Chris Beesley Studio Gallery until July 28th I have one painting ‘Buttercup Yellow’in the St Helens Open Competition at the World of Glass St Helens until September 13th I have paintings for sale online at https://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/elizabeth__grima and I’m happy to sell directly to followers on social media also. There are links on the website https://bouncesite.com/LittleLizHappyArt to my pod stuff and greetings card collection.
Dave – I would like to thank you one more time for sharing your artistic journey with us and I look forward to seeing all of your new creations.
Elizabeth – My Pleasure!
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