Monday, October 29, 2012

The Inspirational World of Fine Art: Artist LIzzie Spikes

In an earlier post of my Fine Art series, I talked about a slogan for my art studio: "Making the World a Better Place through Art." But as I mentioned in a brief interview to Artsy Shark this week, I tweaked it to be: "Partnering to Make the World a Better Place through Art." It summarizes even better my main purpose for doing what I do because, truly, I work with many wonderful people - from other designers and artists to manufacturers - so it's really team work. And to me that's fun, inspirational and rewarding!

Artist Lizzie Spikes
This UK artist I am about to present is also very inspirational and fun. Her art is very close to my heart - she paints on driftwood. Her name is Lizzie Spikes and she is an arts graduate who lives, works and walks on the beautiful West coast of Wales. Lizzie says: "I live on the way to the middle of nowhere near Aberystwyth and I create a great many of my paintings on canvases fashioned from the driftwood that I find washed up Ceredigions beaches. The planks and other wooden flotsam and jetsam show evidence of their previous uses and users and I try to incorporate this into my work. I work with and am inspired by the layers of old paint, the nail holes and the man made shapes along with the forms fashioned by the sea in order to create original and inspiring canvases for my painting. I hope to give these pieces of wood new life and purpose."

© Lizzie Spikes
The Moon from My Attic: What brought you to art in the first place? I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember- very rarely does a day go by without me picking up a pencil or paintbrush. I love the sense of calm and removal from reality that I get when I am involved in making a piece. As to where it all began - my siblings and I grew up in rural Ceredigion in what we described as ‘the middle of nowhere’ and every Saturday morning a friend of our mum's called Haley gave an art class. We crammed into the back room of her cottage and discovered how to do collage, pottery and papier mache, how to make puppets and boats and bowls and how to realize what it was that we had in our heads. These art classes gave a focus to our weeks through primary and secondary school and a large number of Haley's past pupils have gone on to practice art and crafts.


© Lizzie Spikes
TMFMA: What's exciting about your creative work? What I find most exciting about my work is the element of the unknown implicit in using found objects. I march along the local beaches and collect the driftwood pieces that will dictate what it is that I am going to make. I usually know immediately what it is that I will turn the wood pieces into and it means that I always have new inspiration and a freshness in what I do.

TMFMA: Who has inspired you in your art journey? Many people and places have influenced me artistically - the main one being the teachers and tutors who I have encountered throughout my artistic education. I have been fortunate enough to have been taught by some very interesting and inspiring people who have encouraged and inspired me a great deal. My younger sister, Dorry Spikes, is an illustrator and I am always amazed and inspired by what she creates.

© Lizzie Spikes
TMFMA: Tell us about a recent project you'd like to share. For the past eight years I have worked around being a full time mother to my two young sons - Jacob and Ollie. I found that having to focus on the boys gave me a sense of freedom from my own expectations and those of others and enabled me to make and create with a new found enjoyment. Ollie has just started school and I am gearing up to make new pieces for the Christmas shows and markets that I will have time to attend. I have an exhibition scheduled in Cardiff next Spring and my plan is to create pieces based on places along the length of the newly opened Welsh Coastal path … a winter of walking and sketching awaits and I can hardly wait.

TMFMA: Any other info that you'd like to share about? My sister's work can be seen at dotspikes.com.

© Dorry Spikes 

My cousin who lives over the hill is also fab - she works more in textiles (felt making, screen printing, sewing) and her name is Ruth Packham. You can find her on Facebook as Ruth Packham Art.

© Ruth Packham

Find out more about Lizzie at:
mail@driftwooddesigns.co.uk
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