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Meet Elizabeth Rennie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Rennie.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Elizabeth. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been a creative throughout my entire life. I have dabbled in a little bit of everything: drawing, 3D, painting, photography, design. You name it and I have probably have tried it at least once. Not having much grown up, I always found that art was the best way for me to give back to the people I love in a way that I could not always do financially. I started heavily with photography while I was in my younger years, trying out subjects such as landscapes, still life, and some portraitures. I eventually decided that being a creative needed to be a part of my life in the long term and went to art school to study graphic design. I also decided that I needed a more freeform way of expressing myself besides from the work I do in my design career. When I am not designing print and website materials, I spend the majority of my time on my abstract paintings. To date, I have created these works for private collections, juried exhibitions, and solo exhibitions.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
A lot of the times my biggest struggle has been overcoming the fear that I was not good enough to be an artist in some way, shape or form. Growing up, I always thought I had to be wealthy or be amazing at drawing or just be better at everything in general. When I would create something: an abstract painting, a logo, a photograph, there was always something in the back of my mind telling me that no one would find my work interesting or want to buy it because I was just some random person who thought she could make stuff. It took me a really long time to realize that that was not the case at all and that my work could and would resonate with people, no matter what my particular background was.

That being said, my background has always been a challenge for me as well. Coming from a low-income community/family, art was not something that was easily achievable. Whether it was because classes were cut in the public schools, my parents couldn’t afford to get me the supplies I needed to learn or just not having the space necessary to create the work I wanted. It always took an extra step for me to get where the average person was at any given time.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
As an independent artist, my main focus has been to create paintings in a way that opens my mind. Everyday experiences and emotions are often difficult to express in a typical fashion; my work is my way of conveying these instances without words. There are a variety of ways in which we engage with our complex experiences. The visual abstraction of these experiences is what I convey through the colors, strokes, compositions, and so on. I often start with an internalized thought: a feeling from a certain occurrence, a sentence that I could not verbalize fully or even a melody that lingers. I explore these instances in an attempt to convey depth beyond just paint on a surface. Though there are intentional thoughts behind each painting, I strive to create an open experience for the viewer. Each painting represents a personal moment or uncomfortable emotion, all of which should be experienced individually.

With these works, I have been able to participate in local exhibitions within groups such as the Cambridge Arts Association. I also have created work for private collections and am currently working on a solo exhibition for the fall season.

Often, I am most proud when I look back at my entire body of work and see the varieties of what I create. Since my work is a reflection of what is happening in my own life, they often can vary greatly from piece to piece. The strokes, the colors and even the mediums differ from each other as I go along. It is also a great bonus to see my work resonate with others. Being able to grow and see my pieces hanging in galleries and within people’s personal collections are beyond what I ever thought would happen in my career as an artist.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
If I had to pick a particular moment that I could be proud of, it would be landing my first solo exhibition. Though I am still in the stages of creating work for it, I never thought I would even be in a position where I would be making work to fill an entire space for peoples viewing. I always kind of thought I would make one small piece at a time and it would collect dust in my studio. Preparing for this show has definitely been one of the most astonishing experiences for me.

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1 Comment

  1. marc de graeve

    January 26, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Elizabeth – I love your style and your insight into the use of colors – especially the blue.
    Abstract painting is more than putting paint on canvas and you see that well.
    You keep creating and do not fall into repetition. Renewing is not after any success, you copy yourself.
    Greetings from Marc – @abstractmarcus

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