Artist Eleanor Fisher has developed a new and unique art form by creating and completing a painting and then covering it with materials such as glass shards, stones and wood. Each glass shard is individually cut and placed, layer upon layer until completion. As such, the work cannot be copied and is luminescent.
Eleanor began her career as an artist after undergoing brain surgery in 1991. After the surgery was complete, Eleanor had an out-of-body experience where a voice constantly instructed her to “paint.” Within a month, Eleanor purchased art supplies and started her journey as a painter. Here began the journey of a self-taught artist, studying and learning from all of the masters while developing her own technique experimenting with layering and texturing effects to capture colors of emotions and individual life stories.
Eleanor is both astonished and humbled to have had the opportunity to develop a new art form. She invites viewers into her paintings, to travel safely to places and experiences far beyond their dreams returning again and again, to emerge refreshed and inspired. Her philosophy of painting is to communicate experiences of beauty and joy-fullness through the technique which she created called, Glass Shard Painting. Elements of universal beauty and joy drive her paintings always seeking to see, understand and express more. Essentially, Eleanor’s work is influenced by understanding that; “Infinite Creativity” exists in all aspects of life.
Recently Eleanor spoke to the Examiner about her experiences working as an artist and her hopes for the future:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): How and when did you decide to become an artist?
Eleanor Fisher (E.F): In 1991 I had successful brain surgery to remove a large tumor from the base of my brain. Shortly afterwards I heard a voice in my head say “Paint”. This became a daily occurrence. Being a professional observer( doctor of psychology), I observed myself closely and realized I was functioning normally, except for The Voice. After about six weeks of this, I said, “OK, I’ll paint now leave me alone!” Never having had lessons or considering myself an artist. I went to the art supply store, asked for the six largest canvases they had, oil paints and whatever I needed to go with them, as well as how to use them and the largest easel in stock and went home to paint.
M.M.: Growing up, which artists/types of art interested you?
E.F.: Always with bright colors, lots of movement, landscapes, gardens, ladies with beautiful clothes and the ocean. I didn’t know or care to know the names of the artists.
M.M.: How would you describe your work and what inspires it?
E.F.: Technically my art can be called primitive/fanciful, impressionist, and multi-media, but I prefer to describe it as a story within a story represented by the elements of the universe. The layers of glass shards represent the brilliance of All That is Available to us. And, the mixed media represents the Splendor of our Resources. I am inspired by Emotion. When I travel, I am in awe of the dignity of humanity and each place gifts me with inspiration, as in the painting I did called “Dignity” after a trip to South Africa.
M.M.: How did you go about getting into galleries and/or public showcases?
E.F.: First I joined local art associations, and then kept looking for people to help me present and show my work. I kept talking about my major goal of introducing people to their own unique form of creativity where they would not be depressed or anxious if they were fully engaged in the creative process. This seemed to help as people can relate to this. Also, I kept saying the work is Unique and can’t be replicated. And, in spite of the bias against self-taught artists I kept going and will continue to do so.
M.M.: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, which one and why?
E.F.: No favorites. I love each piece that I do. I am completely engaged in the process of birthing as each piece has a soul and speaks to me and guides me to their satisfaction.
M.M.: What are your mediums of choice?
E.F.: Currently I like the acrylic paintings that I do as the backgrounds, and every kind of good glass that I can find, since they are layered with glass. I like any element of nature or jewelry, or anything that will enhance the painting, telling the story of each.
M.M.: Are there any mediums that you haven’t worked with yet but hope to soon?
E.F.: No, I love what I do, and the mixed media format I have adopted over time, but I do continue to look for ways to enhance the work, so who knows?
M.M.: How did you develop your unique style?
E.F.: After beginning my journey of self-taught artist at the end of 1991, I went to a meditation workshop in March 2013 for 6 weeks, one time a week, and at the end of April 2013 had a dream where all of the Masters I had studied and copied in teaching myself to paint said, “You have learned enough, go smash glass and we will guide you.” So on waking I told my husband, and selected one painting with which to begin. He bought me a mallet and a cinder block and I started smashing an old green wine bottle as I was teaching myself how to create colorful glass shards with which to enhance my paintings.
M.M.: To date, what has been the most rewarding experience involving your artwork and/or being an artist?
E.F.: To date, the most rewarding experience involving my artwork and/or being an artist has been the reaction of people who see my work for the first time. They commonly stand awe struck which I take as a great compliment but also is humbling since I know that the work is in partnership with my teachers who have passed on their inspiration and have blessed me. I am also moved by the reaction people have when they hang one of my pieces in their home. I am often told that their homes have been illuminated by my art work and that they have been inspired by my art that takes them past their accustomed comfortability or discomfort and their previous ideas of art .
M.M.: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become an artist?
E.F.: Don’t think about approval of others. It’s not important. What is important is freeing yourself from what is correct according to others and painting with your own heart and soul. Become a kind, happy, compassionate, polite person who is accountable only to your inner Muse. Give up being defensive about anything, say “please”, “thank you”, and “may I”, smile a lot, and your art will always reflect your enlightenment. Remember you can always do more than you think you can do, and never procrastinate. Paint at least five days a week, if you can, but make time every day for love and for fun. I think the #1 thing I would like people to know is that, being a therapist for more than 30 years, I learned that while YOU are involved completely in YOUR creative process you are no longer anxious or depressed. Later it may return, however at that moment you are ALL AT ONE and at peace and joy.
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To learn more about Eleanor Fisher, visit her official website.