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Interview: Elizabeth Loftus's Landscapes

Interview: Elizabeth Loftus's Landscapes

Lives and works in Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California

Tell us about yourself, how did you become an artist?

Art interested me from a very young age. I had a few other careers along the way, but I have always come back to art making.

Rehearsed Alibi, Mixed Media on Canvas, 80" x 96"

What is your background? and how did it inform the focus of your creative exploration or the medium you're currently working with?

I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. I moved to the West coast in my twenties and stayed for several years. I accepted a job at an advertising agency and worked on a recycling campaign for the city of Los Angeles. I also spent many years volunteering in animal welfare and rescue, often with my dogs that I trained for therapy work.

Maximizing Wall Space. Need a Bigger Studio.

What ideas interested you in the beginning of your practice, which ideas have you continued to explore, and where have they led you?

Prior to 2016 most of my practice was dedicated to painting from life, frequently the landscape. Living in the city forced me to confront the litter scattered about the environment. I began to incorporate images of the trash into the paintings. This led me to consider my previous work in recylcing and how it might be connected to my work as an artist.

 Studio View

Who were and are the biggest sources of your inspiration?

While there have been many artists and teachers who inspire me, my primary inspiration is my own life experience.

Outdoor oil painting in progress

Where do you find inspiration?

I do a lot of research on topics of interest to me, most of which are based in environmental concerns. Most of my inspiration comes from my own life experiences.

Inconsistent Behavior, Mixed Media on Canvas, 95" x 120"

Is there are a single work, project, or series that is pivotal in your current trajectory?

I feel each painting leads me to the next. My goal with each painting is to experience something unfamiliar with the paint. This happens quite frequently because I have only recently switched my practice to acrylic paint.

Notes for Survivaly, Mixed Media on Canvas, 96" x 143"

How did it begin? and how did it evolve?

It began when I laid down a fluorescent orange ground on a 72" x 84" canvas. The canvas sat in the studio with just the ground for about a week, and then suddenly I decided to paint a flock of birds. The idea was that the birds become toxic from the plastic waste they ingest when they believe it to be food. The series evolved into many more paintings addressing a similar theme and into sculptures made from discarded plastic.

Work in progress in studio

What were important lessons in the process that you’ve carried forward with you?

The most important lesson is to work ceaselessly.

 Birds of Paradise, Photo by James Prinz Photography

What are you working on now?

I'm still working with ideas concerning over consumption and its impact on the environment. A few recent life events have me looking into secrets and lies.

Refuse, Photo by James Prinz Photography

If you could go back in time to the very beginning of your art practice and give your younger self a single piece of advice what would it be?

There have been moments when I have been pulled away from my practice. I would tell myself to never stop making art.

Beyond Capacity, Photo by James Prinz Photography

About the Artist

Based in Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California

Elizabeth Loftus holds a BFA and MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited her work in numerous shows throughout the midwest and will be featured in an upcoming issue of New American Paintings and Studio Visit Magazine.

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