Elizabeth Bram Member Since June 2007 Artist Statement Art as Meditation: The Garden of Elizabeth
I was born with a crayon in my hand. I wanted to draw all over everything. My parents did not interfere. I drew on the walls. I drew on their books. I took food out of the refrigerator and made designs on the sidewalk. My parents loved my creativity and spent their lives protecting my creative impulses while I developed my own unique style of art.
I attended an alternative art school, Silvermine College, in the seventies. It was the time of Woodstock and we lived that reality year round. During my first year there, we voted not to hold classes. It was more of a creative community than a school. We had a lot of fun there. We played frisbee on the roof. We had a bonfire in the parking lot and read aloud the poems of Richard Brautigan. People climbed trees and sang songs up there. We also marched on Washington against the war in Vietnam.
At the school, I made giant paintings at night on rolls of paper. I painted giant rabbits and cats and children and flowers. I hung up the paintings in the hallways. People would come in to school the next day and say, "They're getting bigger!" We also had life drawing classes but I refused to attend, thinking it would ruin my own unique way of perceiving the world. My point of view on art was respected and accepted. There was space for me to be me.
I went on to write and illlustrate children's picture books published by Greenwillow Books and the Dial Press. I also attended acupuncture school for two years, studied Hawaiian language in Honolulu, went to flamenco dance classes in New York City and spent a year studying in France where I perfected my French. I took some courses in art which did not interfere with my artistic ideas. I studied ceramics, papermaking, book arts and puppet making. I felt that all these interests nourished my private world and, as such, my painting was nourished, too.
I continued to paint and took my paintings on tour independently. I wrote a book about my experiences entitled, ZERO GRAVITY:DIARY OF A TRAVELLING ARTIST. I set up exhibits in Scotland, England, Canada and all across the United States.I gave gallery talks explaining that my art was a form of meditation, that the images do not come from my mind. I do not think about the works or plan them. They come from someplace else - a world of memories, visions and dreams. I let whatever is inside me come out. It is a stream-of-consciousness art form. The work brings me back to my own true nature, to the garden. That is why I call my work, The Garden of Elizabeth. The paintings are colorful, happy and childlike. They make people feel good.