Hi. I am Liz Connelly and I reside in Chicago, IL. I am an abstract artist and work in oil, acrylic, and colored pencil. I feel that my art conveys feelings and emotions that words can't always convey. I don't always start with a specific idea, instead I start the work and look at it to "hear" what it is saying to me. I also am involved with some art organizations in which I am president of one and secretary of another (www.lemontartistsguild.org and www.allianceoffineart.org) and an online group at www.ArtNxtLevel.com. I studied Illustration and received a Bachelors in Fine Art from Northern Illinois University in 1998 and a Masters in Painting in 2004 from Governors State University.
What should I say about me, my life, how I became an artist? Like I am sure for many, that is difficult to put into one paragraph. I always loved drawing as a child, with one of my favorite gifts being a crayon caddy that I could swivel around and also add to it my pencils and markers. I did a drawing contest in school when I was 6, and I won first place. Granted, it was not the best drawing, but, I was determined not to trace the drawing (as some of my classmates did) and I learned, then, how important it is to be original. From then on, my parents encouraged me to study art in college and then I went on to get my MA in painting. I had a family member become sick during the time I was pursuing my masters and working full time, but I did what I had to do and helped my family member to get better. The years went by and I continued to work a separate job (or jobs) from my art, but all the while staying connected to it by participating in area art groups (see "About Me") and doing my own personal art and commissions when they come about. I say to anyone that has a creative spirit, always pursue this, and, never give up.
We spend our lives, especially now, in a world with television, internet, social media, cell phones, seeing so much visual information, all the time. My artistic past, with my first degree in fine arts-illustration, learning how to draw "perfect" and represent realism, made me rethink artmaking and the meaning of a piece of art. As I did countless drawings and paintings, that very well, with the help of my instructors, gave me so many artistic skills, it also made me wonder, isn't there more to what we are putting down on the canvas, than what is in front of us? With abstract art, I can mark-make, splash and drip the paint, look at what appears on the canvas and "feel" it, inside my heart and soul. Often, what appears is telling a story that no realistic image can tell. It is my hope that the viewer can see into my artwork something to which his or her feelings and emotions also respond. I am thankful to my "realistic" art instructors and peers, and I am also thankful to my "abstract" art instructors and peers, those that encouraged me to see beyond and find the meaning in these marks and splashes and shapes that appear on their own, and create art that encompasses a beauty beyond what is seen and heard.
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