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Elisa Vegliante

Artist's Interview

How long have you been creating?
I started becoming serious about art in college. My parents grew up in the depression, so I was raised to be frugal and get a good job. I put artists in the same category as movie stars and rich people, so I never took art seriously as a kid. It wasn't until my Freshman year in college that I was forced to take an art history course, and I was exposed to the world of art. That same year I had a far-out "Hippie" English teacher who gave us an assignment to keep a dream journal. I had great difficulty with the assignment, so the teacher suggested that I draw my dreams instead of writing them. This was an attempt to free me up creatively. When she saw my drawings for the dream journal, she insisted that I was an artist and I should go to art school. At first I resisted because I couldn't see a job coming from this, but she pulled some strings and got me into the art school connected with the University. I combined getting a BFA with a teaching certificate in Art Education and have been teaching art in the public school system to children in grades K-6 since the 1980's.
How would you describe your work?
This is a very difficult question to answer. In the past, I have been lumped together with "outsider" and "visionary" artists. In the true definition of those categories I do not fit because I am educated in the arts. So I created my own classification called "Mondoexpressionism". I express my experiences in the world without mediation from markets or culture. The creative process itself fuels my work and transforms my ideas.
What are your motivations for creating?
I create art to escape the hell of the real world.
Have you seen any art that has moved you recently?
I enjoy the work of Andrew Paul Lewandowski. He is an EBSQ artist and it is by viewing his auctions that I stumbled on the EBSQ website. He is a Catholic priest who paints like a wild innocent. Everyone should look at his profile. I also like the work of John Swinton. He is also an Ebay artist. His Ebay ID is pieboy. He does fantastically irreverent ink-wash drawings. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with a true outsider artist from my town. His name is Maurice Hansen, and he recently passed away. His work was truly amazing and I feel he will go down in history as the next Vincent Van Gogh.
What do you find stimulating right now? How does this influence your creative process?
I would have to say that I find nothing visually stimulating in this world. In fact, I find just the opposite. I am totally burned out and pissed off. I think I will have to buy myself some sunglasses to shield my eyes from the blinding horrors of this planet. I can fake enthusiasm for my students. We talk about the colors and textures in nature, and the many forms and shadows in the human face etc... blah blah blah. The truth is when we finish drawing the autumn gourds for the October still life lesson, I am going to throw them out the window and let them rot in the schoolyard. Most people I see make me want to commit a crime.
Read anything good lately?
My teaching job leaves me little time to read for pleasure. The last thing I read was a screenplay called "A Night With Ed Wood" by local filmmaker Ace Fronton. I am collaborating with him on a film project.
Your work is often whimsical, and highly visionary. Tell us a little about your process and what inspires your work.
I create totally from the deep part of my brain without editing myself. That is the real trick. Most people don't realize how much they edit and process their ideas before they are molded into an image. I let the image come out raw and full force, without questioning the outcome. The only reason why I paint is because I don't like doing anything else.
What would you like your fellow EBSQ artists and collectors to know about you and or your work?
To the artists: I suppose I should let everyone know that I have been showing your EBSQ portfolios to my students as a part of their art history lessons. I want my students to know that artists are real people with jobs who create art just for the passion of it. The great masters of art are cool too, but EBAY artists are the true contemporary artists of this generation. The kids need to know that art is not just for rich people and movie stars. Now when a student finishes a project, instead of saying, "Is this good enough?" they say, "Is this good enough to sell on EBAY?" To the collectors: Thank you for supporting living artists!

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