First of all, please introduce yourself to our readers that might not be familiar with you and your work. When and how did you get interested in art making?
My name is Elizabeth Sheppell, I grew up on a farm in Pleasant Plain, OH. I now live in Atlanta, GA. I received my BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. I studied painting and minored in sculpture. I really got into art in high school. I attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati after school. That taste of art school was enough for me to decide that I wanted to really pursue it. My parents met and worked in New York City. I had grown up hearing all about their fond memories of living there. I knew I wanted to go to school there. I was fortunate that they supported that wish.
Currently, what type of job(s) you do besides making art?
Besides making art, I work for a wholesale furniture company. I work with clients all over the country and sometimes get to travel. I have been in the wholesale manufacturing industry since 1998. I have always worked for small companies or artisans. Somehow it has stuck to help support my art career. I have also worked in various industries as catering, landscaping, and letterpress printing.
Do you teach, write and/or curate art exhibits?
I write a blog about shows in Atlanta, studio views, and also feature other artists on Sundays. This weekly post is called “Sunday Selections”. It is a place for me to highlight artists that I admire and have interest in. It is not a critical blog, more of a sharing of information blog. I have enjoyed connecting to other artists via the web. I hope I am spreading inspiration and awareness of the amazing art out there.
Would you please tell us a bit about your work in general.
My recent work is about structures and layering. I have had the idea of pushing the painting off the edges for a few years and finally decided to try it. I wanted to show off the lushness of paint that I enjoy.
Would you like to discuss a bit your creative process?
I am using a base similar to plaster of paris to create some of the shapes in addition to lots of gel mediums and layers of acrylic paint. I have gone through so much paint working on these small paintings.
I have loosely named this new series The Fat Series. I layer, remove, and repeat until I am satisfied. They are becoming more like objects than a flat plane. I love small art in general and hope that these come off as powerful pieces. I want this tactile seduction of paint that inspires me to come through to the viewer.
I am a messy painter. In the studio I am always covered in paint. I have a bad habit of working on the floor. I feel I can attack the painting better this way. I have a section on my blog with photos of Studio Views. I think people like to observe how artists work. I know I do.
My work space is in my house. I feel I am more productive with the studio at home since I paint after work during the week and weekends.
I usually have four or five pieces going at the same time. I get a crazy rush of energy as my show date closes in on me. I really find myself working on more than I need. I like to give many options to make sure the show will flow.
What is the most interesting comment about your work you have heard from a viewer?
Someone recently commented on my blog that my new work reminded them of bouillabaisse and sex.
Do you have plans for your direction?
I would like to keep working and progressing on The Fat Series. My work has a lot of bold color and I want to challenge myself to limit the number of colors and focus on the shape and texture for a new series of minimal surfaces. I also want to work on larger sizes in this direction.
How have you handled the business side of being an artist?
It's a lot to juggle. I keep inventory lists of where and what pieces are in galleries. I have become more assertive over the years. I am much more confident due to my day job. I handle many clients and have to problem solve on a daily basis. All this kind of experience helps me become more comfortable in approaching, speaking up, and marketing myself to galleries.
My blog has been a great marketing tool. It has given me exposure that I would not normally have with just a website. I hope to have more time to devote to all of these important facets in the future.
Are you planning any exhibitions of your work in the near future?
I have an upcoming two person show of recent work with Elizabeth Lide at Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta. It opens January 20th, 2012. It runs until February 25th.
Do you have website(s) for interested readers to learn more about your work? Representing gallery if any?
My website is www.elizabethsheppell.com and my blog www.elizabethsheppell.blogspot.com I am currently represented by Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta. I am also a guest artist with Conrad Wilde Gallery.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your work?
I feel so lucky to be able to create paintings and have people view them.
Thank you Sand for including me!