Colors explode from Liz Ward 's kaleidoscopic canvases, pulling your eyes closer. There's something playfully ethereal about her artwork textures and patterns seem so familiar and yet detached, as if her Weston home is at once filled with animated dreams and blue-collar practicality.
"If I'm not creating something, I tend to get a little cranky," Ward says. Her son, Lucas, sits on the couch, waiting for his cue. "Isn't that right, Lucas?" she asks. With perfect timing he looks up from his guitar and sighs, as if to say, "That's an understatement."
Ward has lived in Weston most of her life. Her artistic talents blossomed when she was a child, and as she aged her passion for creativity drove her to pursue a full-time art career. She has painted scores of commissioned works for clients from all over New England. "Home is very important to me," she said, adding that most of her commissions are of people's houses.
"My work is getting deeper, more dimensional. It used to be very, very flat," she says as she examines a piece she calls Zimbabwean Wheel People. "This is from a dream I had."
She created the original work, but decided it did not suit her. So she cut it up, rearranged the pieces and glued them onto a white background. "I do a lot of collage," she says, adding that it's her favorite medium.
Within the confines of her home studio lies the malevolently titled Snake Pit, stocked wall-to-wall with bags of cork, coffee cans, leftover silk materials, even drywall corner beads. "People give me all sorts of stuff," she says. "Found objects are very special to my art."
Upstairs there's a Japanese cowbell that she converted into a sculpture of a little girl. She once purchased a woman's lifetime collection of swizzle sticks and used them to complete a bird sculpture. Many of her works adorn the hallway at the Weston Town Annex building.
She also teaches for the before- and after-school WOW program at Hurlbutt Elementary School . "With the teaching, I love to bring in different materials, and say, 'Okay kids, what can we do with this?' "
This spring, she's participating in the The Art of Caring event to benefit Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut in Danbury. When she's not making art, she enjoys gardening and arguing over the best snow shovel with her son. "That was fun," she said.
Want to see more art? Visit Liz's web site at www.LizWardArt.com . You can also contact her through her home page.
Know any artists next door? Tell us about them! Send an email to David at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know.
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