Elizabeth Hutchinson - Artist Interview
"I truly believe to create is at the core of what it is to be human.
We thrive when we make art, poetry, garden, cook, sing, experiment, so many endless ways
... and most especially when we play." ~ Elizabeth Hutchinson
Q. Please tell us about bit about yourself. Anything you’d like to share, perhaps where you live, where you were born, your family.
I'm from New Brunswick and I have been living in Grande Prairie for about 7 years now. I miss the ocean, but I do very much love the mountains. My husband and I have five kids, three that are grown and two that keep growing way too fast.
Q. Can you tell us when you first realized that you enjoyed creating art and wished to become an artist. Is there a particular person who supported your decision to pursue your goals? If so, in what way did you feel supported? If so, how did you feel?
I have loved creating since I was a very little girl. I grew up wanting to be a veterinarian because I wasn't sure people made money as artists, lol. I can still remember being surprised when my uncle told me I should become an artist. I hadn't really thought of it as an option before then. My parents supported my goals when I did my bachelor in Fine Arts; I think most times they cheered me on and many times they worried.
My husband and my children support me today, putting up with me taking over the kitchen with canvases. My husband much rather wire the backs of my paintings than offer his opinion on how it looks (he has decided this is safest ... or he may still be holding out for me to paint him a skidder, lol!) I treasure my art friends, who let me bounce ideas off them and offer me fresh eyes when I've been staring at something too long or am struggling to get out of my own way.
Q. What is your motivation for creating art?
Creating is part of who I am and has always been where I find joy. It is both how I view and interpret the world around me and how I express myself and connect with others.
Q. Do you have a favorite medium and if so, why?
I love to play with much of what I can get my hands on but painting with oils is by far my favourite.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about some of your artworks and what they mean to you?
I love to explore nature in my artwork, especially the spaces that intersect with our own lives.The fields that peak between housing tracks, the songbirds that dive around the coffee shop drive through.The fox that wanders the field beside the highway on my route to work.The crow and raven who thrive despite human's spread across the landscape.They are such rich contributors of our interwoven histories. They are beautiful reminders that all things are entwined and dependent on each other.
Coursing Over Eden's Roses
Q. When you create art do you listen to calming music, are you thinking of anything in particular or have any emotions at all?
I always paint to music. I can tire out a favourite playlist pretty quickly while painting and love to find new songs I enjoy! I love the meditative quality of painting- where you lose track of time and enter a state of flow and inner stillness.
Q. In our busy world, time can be an issue. Do you have any tips or tricks to find time for your art?
I had a really hard time making room for art when my kids were very small. I love to procrastinate before I begin... the kitchen is too messy; the tools need to be prepped... I could convince myself not to start. I had to just force myself to jump in and fit it in the little spaces between life. Less self-judging, more playing. Then one day you realize those spaces can be big enough to become welcomed routines.
Q. Is creating art your main profession?
I am a teacher as well. I get to teach Kindergarten half time (some of the best little artists I know- we should all have the confidence of a five-year-old!) I also get to work with my colleagues and their classes designing arts integration experiences for a k-7 school.
Q. Can you tell us about any awards or exhibitions that have made an impact on your life?
I am very grateful to have received awards and recognition from juried exhibitions, including the FCA and PRFCA shows. I'm working hard to participate in many exhibition opportunities and develop supportive and professional relationships with the galleries who are interested in my work. Connecting with people one on one and hearing what a painting means to them has a huge impact for me- I feel truly honoured when my work speaks to someone's heart and is welcomed into their home.
Q. Do you have any major goals for your art career? I want to be brave enough to put myself out there and take risks. As an introvert sometimes that is hard to do. My friend Carolyn keeps reminding me to not to put ceilings on where I can go. So, my current goals are not being too shy to reach out and connect with artists and professionals I admire, and to say yes to opportunities I find to connect with more people.
Q. What inspires you to be the best artist that you can be?
I am a geek and loooove learning new things! Sometimes I'm passionate about ideas to the point of being annoying (I'm working on that! Read body cues: they're bored= stop talking, lol). A big part of my love of art is continually challenging myself to figure things out, how they work, how they feel, and how to communicate it.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your art journey or inspiration so far to inspire others?
I truly believe to create is at the core of what it is to be human. We thrive when we make art, poetry, garden, cook, sing, experiment, so many endless ways... and most especially when we play. Creativity and inspiration are not the gift of a few but the capacity within us all. If you are passionate about it give it your time. Beautiful, eloquent things will grow.