Art, // January 4, 2015
Elizabeth Tyler – ARTIST
Interview with artist Elizabeth Tyler
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I am Elizabeth Tyler, a visual artist born in England, living in Sweden.
2. Why art?
Art is the best way I know of expressing myself. It’s universal. This has become more apparent to me in time. I have traveled a lot, lived in 4 countries and although the spoken language might have been a barrier at first the visual language was not and probably never will be.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
When I started school I soon realised I was quite hopeless at most of the subjects being taught. Only drawing and painting had any interest and I doodled and sketched in all the other classes. My earliest memory of actually wanting to be an artist was when I won a national painting competition for children on TV in the UK. This gave me the self confidence I needed and from then on I never wanted to be anything else.
4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
My favourite subjects and media have changed in time. The subject matter has developed from drawing people in urban landscapes and street scenes to painting microscopic details of vegetation, rendered larger than life. In recent years I have painted seascapes and the borderline between the land and the ocean. I started out doing pen and ink drawings. Then I spent many years printmaking, the process and visual appeal of etching and engraving in black and white was, and still is, fascinating. I then started experimenting with colour plates and developed my own technique. After several years I wanted to create larger works and started painting in acrylics.
5. How do you work and approach your subject.
When I painted people I used to sketch them on public transport, I didn’t have models to sit for me, just strangers on the train or bus. When drawing urban landscapes I sat on the street, in a doorway or bus shelter. My macro paintings of vegetation were either done in plein air or in the studio using a magnifying glass or camera. In recent years my subject matter has been inspired by the sea. I sail alone aboard my 31 ft sailboat around the greek islands for several months a year. My boat is a floating studio for me where I paint from the cockpit while at anchor or take the dinghy ashore to paint on the beach.
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
At the annual open studio event here in Sweden, I have conversations with ordinary people and not just art connoisseurs. At the international exhibitions I get responses from artist colleagues from all over the world.
8. What do you like about your work?
I like the freedom of being an artist. Not only the freedom to work when and where I like but also the freedom to use my time to contemplate and digest the inspiration I find without anyone telling me to get on with it.
9. What advice would you give to other artists?
To go to as many exhibitions as possible and not just look at other artists work in books or on the net. More often than not their works are totally different in reality. Be inspired but don’t copy.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I see myself taking part in more international exhibitions, I find it so inspiring meeting other artists and seeing their work. I hope to contribute in my own way by inspiring others.