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Liza Sylvestre is this week's featured artist. Check out her show here.


Coil VI


Where are you from originally and where do you live now?

I grew up in South Minneapolis, Minnesota and I have been living in Miami for the past six years. I've learned a lot in this city and I've met some outrageously incredible people here, but I am actually going to be packing my bags with my beau and moving back to Minneapolis very soon. I'm not sure how long I'll stay, or where my return to Minneapolis will lead me, but I'm excited to find out.


Artist's bio.


What's your background? Did you study fine art?

I have a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Minnesota. I worked in the fashion design field (first in London and then in Miami) for almost five years. My heart was never really in the work though, it's too fast, fast, fast and I like to take my time with things. Although I was able to make fairly consistent artwork after work (instead of sleeping) I felt horrible physically and mentally, so I took the plunge late last year and quit my extremely stressful full time job. I guess there have been a lot of changes in my life recently and my artwork has been central to those changes. Now I feel like the beginning is over and something good is starting to grow out of this new soil I've claimed for myself.

Coil XI and Coil VII in progress


Does your present mood affect the tone of what you're painting?

Yes! I feel like I'm partaking in a correspondence of some kind when I make art. Myself and my mood on one end and the painting and its mood on the other. Sometimes it's a divine conversation and sometimes we disagree about things.


Your paintings seem to mimic the ordered chaos found in nature. How do you create that effect?

I have this theory that the world is a simple place. I've felt this way since I was very young and as I've gotten older, and have learned a few things, this philosophy has become increasingly ingrained in my thinking. I see the same base patterns in small cellular things, large cosmic things, cycles, orbits, mathematics, tides, human behavior, geometry and so on... so it is through a very natural occurrence that these shapes and textures form on my work surface before me. That's the philosophical explanation at least! The technical explanation is that I use watercolor and gouache paint of different opacities, water and many different and random tools for shaping those paints as they dry.

Coil IX


What does the word "Coil" (the title of these paintings) signify?

Coil, beyond the beauty of the word, signifies the simplicity of the world that I mentioned above. It makes me think simultaneously of the curve of a nautilus shell, the cochlea in the inner ear, the movement of water as it folds onto shore, the visual patterns of trigonometry, the movement of cells, the cycles of seasons, and the coil of emotions inside a person.

Coil XI


What do you hope to be doing in five years time?

In five years I hope to be creating more artwork. I'd like to find some quiet place that I really want to dig my feet into and create a home out of that place. Mostly I just want to make more art.