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Elis Cooke

Artist's Interview

How long have you been creating?
I think the creative instinct is built in to all of us... but until my late 20's my creativity was more focused on creative writing [my other love]-- with visual art taking a back seat. Since then it has reversed... so my main focus has been on creating visually for about 14 years. I am largely self taught but take courses now and then for specific skills and interests.
What, besides your art, brings you creative fulfillment?
I write poetry and keep a journal and sketchbook.
What are your motivations for creating?
I am motivated by the uncertainty of it, the mystery and unpredictability of the process, by getting to do something different every day and by knowing there is always more to learn. I believe all creative energy acts to oppose destruction, so it is my way of trying to contribute in an affirmative way. Creativity is about variation to me... so I am usually working on alot of different things at the same time... from bookarts to handmade paper works to mixing up a variety of watermedia. Most of my series are ongoing and I work within them when I feel like doing that kind of process again.
How do you know when a piece you have been working on is done?
This has been an ongoing issue. Sometimes I think the finishing is really of little interest to me... I could just keep on working on the same 10 canvases forever as my work is more process driven. Gesso is one of my best friends! I am getting better at letting my work stop in places that interest me, or intrigue me enough to get lost in the looking. I aspire to create something with a quality I define as 'otherly'... sometimes it just feels right or feels like it is there or it is something I haven't seen before.
What do you find stimulating right now? How does this influence your creative process?
Right now I am stimulated by the concept of presense. I am most present, most engaged in the moment when I am painting, so I have been exploring trying to bring that state of being more into my work.
What brought you to EBSQ?
Looking at great art always inspires me so EBSQ is a great site to explore!
What are some of your artistic goals for the future?
To be more present. To incorporate more printmaking in my work and explore the possibilities of my new press. To take a printmaking class. To share and explore more of my experimental ideas. To strike more of a balance between art and poetry... maybe even within the same work? To work larger. To paint more!
What would you like your fellow EBSQ artists and collectors to know about you and or your work?
I hope to be a student of art for the rest of my life, working at the edge of the skills I have built, constantly exploring ground new to me.

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