A few months ago I came across the wonderfully unique art of John Elice. Using watercolor and torn paper, the rich colors and organic textures of his work can be seen as a beautiful expression of the glories of nature. The bark of a tree, or layers of lichen, or a rocky shoreline lit by a fiery sunset – these are just a few of the things I see in his work.
I hope you’ll take some time to explore his work for yourself because he is offering readers of this blog a 15% discount through December 15, 2012. Just enter coupon code GREATGIFT at his shop and I’m sure you’ll discover a gift for someone on your list this holiday season, or maybe enjoy a piece for yourself!
BT: Please introduce yourself and your medium.
John: My name is John Elice Johnson. My medium is simple: watercolor paper and paint. I enjoy working with natural, organic papers as well.
BT: When did you first discover your creative talents?
John: I was always encouraged as a child to be creative, and that encouragement has followed me my entire life. I am happiest when I am involved in the creative process.
I am not a classically trained artist but I feel like I have an eye for things that look good. There was a period of time a few years back when I found myself making decorative paper artwork for friends and family as gifts. At the beginning of this year, with many words of encouragement, I decided to take a leap and see how others would react to my decorative art pieces. I opened my Etsy shop in January 2012.
BT: What themes do you pursue in your work?
John: I play with paint and let things evolve. I pick a color; or a mixture of colors, and then I saturate paper with the color. Then I tear the paper into strips and cut the strips into “tiles”. The tiles are then artfully arranged to create my art pieces. Because of this technique, each piece is uniquely different and can never be duplicated. It’s a freestyle process, so I think the colors are really the theme.
BT: What “fills your well” and inspires you to create?
John: I can’t really pinpoint a particular thing that inspires me. I love the web, following jewelry and fashion trends almost always inspire my color selections. Home magazines are all around my house; it’s great to keep up with home fashions as well.
BT: How do you handle creative block?
John: I don’t pressure myself to be creative; I am not on a creative schedule. I find that theory impossible. I try and keep things handy so when I am in the mood to create I am ready to roll, even if its 3am in the morning.
BT: If you had a superpower, what would it be, and why?
John: I would want to be a super healer. I would travel the globe to rid the planet from illness. Wouldn’t it be amazing to simply touch someone or something back to health?
BT: What artists do you admire?
John: I like Picasso, especially the pieces from his blue period. Dale Chihuly is fascinating, his glass sculptures and amazing color combinations are inspiring. Mark Rothko, his color combinations are perfect.
BT: What is your dream project?
John: I would love to have the money and skill to design, build and decorate my own home.
BT: What’s the best advice you’ve been given as an artist?
John: Create what you love through a process that brings you joy. I find my process to be an escape, it relaxes me. I like the end results, but the process is what I really enjoy. Most importantly recognize that not everyone will “get” you. That just has to be okay.