Elizabeth Welch was raised and currently lives in the suburbs of southeast of Houston, Texas. Creating has been a part of her life from an early age. In the December of 2012, Welch graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Art and Design from the University of Houston Clear Lake. While at Clear Lake she focused on the medium of printmaking and had a minor focus in ceramics. Welch is currently working and creating while looking forward to her future as an artist.
What was your original inspiration to create art?
I have been drawing since before I can even remember, so it is very hard to think of a specific original inspiration. I was very lucky to have been born into a creative family. My mother and brother are writers and artists, and there are also many other creatives in my extended family. Making art in my family was natural as well as normal.
Why have you chosen printmaking as your primary media?
Before I took my first printmaking course I always knew I was an artist but I did not have any medium that I was involved in more so than others. There is a large push in college and the art world, from my point of view, to practice one medium and have it define you. Because of this, I felt very insecure and that I was not whole as an artist. Printmaking filled that void for me. It met me in ways that other media did not. Printmaking can be very planned process of creation that involves a lot of measuring, knowledge, and skill. Making prints utilizes the very mathematical portion of my personality. Printmaking has been very fulfilling and I see it having a strong presence throughout my life. More recently, however, I have been able to see that I do not need to practice one medium to make me an artist. I have been generating ideas that span mediums and that utilize printmaking as its backbone. Even the scope of printmaking has expanded for me and I want to push the medium past its traditional means into territories I have yet to explore. Art is no longer this thing that needs to be defined in terms of media. I am looking forward to coming out of my self-inflicted restraints and exploring art on my own terms.
What inspired you to create an artwork everyday for a year and to what extent do the daily pieces influence the more labor-intensive prints?
This past December I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design. As a student I would be at school in the studios for countless hours. I practically lived at school. I figured that going from such an intensive environment for art making to having to create my own art regimen would be difficult.
The presence of this project has helped me through many dark periods I have had this year. Regardless of what was happening in my life I had my art a day where I could do whatever I wanted. There was something very freeing in making art that was ugly or done in two seconds because I really was not feeling it that day. I was able to create unpolished artwork and call it complete. There is generally no struggle in my daily art. I can just breathe and exhale when I do them.
Since there was no pressure placed on them I was able to have ideas flow freely. There are many instances where my daily arts have wandered their way into being finished prints. My daily artwork has directly inspired much of my current portfolio. I have found the daily work to be the seeds from which my artwork can easily grow. Figuring out what to do is much easier when I have one hundred ideas to pull from. Not all of my work from my “365” project will become something larger and there are many that I love just as they are. There are others, of course, that I cannot stand to look at and prefer that no one else would either. I have kept it an open process for the most part and intend to share my entire year once it has been completed.
What are the main themes and ideas behind your subject matter?
The major themes in my artwork are growth and change. These two experiences area constant in my life and I choose to explore them visually from a distinctly feminine perspective. I have chosen this point of view because it is my own. I believe that my entire existence is colored by my gender. Growth is an inherently feminine experience given the origin of life through birth. I do not intend to alienate the male experience and hope that members of that gender can find something in my artwork for themselves. I find a great strength in my identity as a woman and hope to portray the female as an entire being and not the sum of her parts. I also incorporate the instinctual and scientific behaviors of nature to illustrate the less instinctual and subjective human experience. This can be seen in my use of birds, seeds, trees, and biological processes. I am currently exploring the idea of making something precious that is harmful illustrated through feminine objects and invasive plant species.
Any final thoughts?
Multiple times I have touched upon the issue of fear and how it has hindered my artwork. As I grow and allow myself to see life through my own set of eyes I see my artwork becoming more fearless. I believe that art is a place where vision speaks and I can see my voice growing in strength.