As the year comes to a close, looking back over our past posts with fabulous artists features, I'm happy to report that we still have more to share. So please stay tuned for future artist spotlights from the Westchase Artists Society.
Finishing up 2010 we give you Liz Rylan, the fantastically talented photographer. Now without further delay, here's Liz!
Question: Tell us a little bit about yourself, affiliations, personal stuff
Liz: My artistic education and practice is basically divided into three parts: Interior Design, Photography and Watercolor. For the Interior Design portion, I studied for a Master's degree at Florida State University and for my Ph.D. at Virginia Tech. I have worked in the United States, and lived/worked in Europe for 11 years. While working with the Foreign Buildings Office of the U.S. State Department, participated in the design of U.S. Embassies for several Third World countries. In studying photography, I have studied with National Geographic photographers on workshops to Italy, Mexico, and Washington, DC. Also lead photographic excursions to Italy, Greek Isles, and Africa for destination photography opportunities. For watercolor, I have been priviledged to learn from Patricia Weaver every chance I can get. Have taught Interior Design at the university level for 12 years.
Question: Apart from creating art what do you do?
Liz: Enjoy volunteering at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. This place is full of great people with huge hearts, and they do an amazing job of caring for marine animals daily. The upcoming movie called "A Dolphin Tale," has been filmed recently at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and will be in theatres in the Fall of 2011. This movie is based on the story of "Winter" a rescued dolphin that has lived here for almost five years. She lost her tail, learned to swim without a tail and also with a prosthetic tail. She's been an inspiration to many people. For all of us volunteers, watching the movie-making process has been a joy!
Question: What first made you want to become an artist?
Liz: Interior Design: The challenge and the delight of creating a workable / usable space that is also aesthetically pleasing. To be able to lift people's spirits as they see and use their space. To create a "stage setting" for daily life at home, work or play. It is truly problem-solving!
Photography: The joy of seeing beauty or anything fascinating and capturing it through my lens for others to view it as I see it. Really "editing the world" from my viewpoint: isn't that what we all - as artists - do?
Watercolor: Once I get past the fear of "messing up a perfectly good beautiful piece of white paper," I love experimenting with flow of colors.
Interpreting a scene, or one of my photographs, onto a two-dimensional surface, watching the colors blend and mix -- ecstasy!
Question: Describe your creative process.
Liz: For interior design, all begins with carefully listenng to what my client wants: the scope of the project, and expectations.
For photography, the art of seeing.
For watercolor, getting past the fearsome white paper.
Question: Top 5 books, movies, songs
Books: Lawrence Anthony's two books: "The Elephant Whisperer" and "Babylon's Ark"
Barbara Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible"
Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth"
Nelson DeMille's "The Gold Coast"
Movies: "Shakespeare in Love" "Overboard" "Slumdog Millionaire"
Play: Thorton Wilder's "Our Town"
Music: Classical: "Eighteenth Variation on a Theme by Paganini" by Rachmaninoff --- too short, but exquisite!
Thanks so much to Liz for your interview and sharing a few of your spectacular photos!!!