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June Mind of the Artist: Elizabeth Eby

June 1, 2019

Until 2015, I worked exclusively in fused glass. But after too many glass splinters my interest shifted toward more spontaneous and less expensive forms of art. Now I think of myself as a mixed media artist, which allows me to work in a variety of formats including found objects.

Glass casting, mirror, background paper and frame are composed of found objects

Fused glass shares some characteristics with collage and painting. But even 2-dimensional glass has a flexible picture plane. The artist can build 3-D areas on a flat surface or continue the image over the edge of the support.

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
Fused glass panels with 3-D surface mounted on glass

I continue this practice. I believe it emphasizes motion and allows the art to merge with the environment in which it is displayed, e.g., the image can float or fly off the supporting surface. For me, these qualities provide a meaningful experience as artist and as viewer.

I Danced in the Sun Before the Earth was Born
Paper, cardboard, Xerox, colored pencil, and fabric

Making art helps me organize information. It also sharpens my perception of nature and helps me remember what is important in this rapidly changing world. Looking closely is my attempt to provide control amid the noise and visual clutter of the modern landscape, making art out of what I see helps me obtain a sense of serenity. My job is to communicate my thinking to the viewer. For example, I found a stick in a parking lot that looked as though it was twirling so I told its story. 

Dance Me and Dance Me detail
Found object, glass beads and paper

I think all artists want their work to be recognized and loved, to hang in someone’s home instead of storage. It is hard and sometimes frustrating to stick with it but “to your own self be true” drives my sense of discovery and my pleasure making art. I am always amazed by how my ideas and materials come to life as I make art. 

I enjoy looking at all kinds of art. However; to hold my interest the image needs to resonate with me. My work is generally abstract and expressive. These qualities are more important to me than prettiness. One day several friends came by to drop things off for a party. Everyone looked at the canvas I was working on and commented on how pretty it was. I can’t say exactly why that bothered me, maybe it sounded too easy.  But I knew I it was not what I wanted to hear so I painted the following image over it.    

Beautiful Girl
Acrylic, oil pastel, and oil stick on canvas