Elynne Rosenfeld, elynnerosenfeld, creates pure abstract paintings using mixed media. Her new series is entitled “Divine Alignment” which incorporates symbols familiar to those who practice Reiki. She took time away from planning an upcoming event for this interview which is part of an ongoing series titled “Advice To Artists From Artists.” I know that artists and art enthusiasts alike will enjoy viewing her art and reading her insightful answers.
About Elynne Rosenfeld
She received her MFA in Painting from UMASS Amherst and her BA in Art from Rice University. Active in the Philadelphia art community, she has served as past president of the advocacy group Tri state Artist’s Equity. She co-chaired ArtForms cooperative gallery for a decade and currently sits on the board of ARTsisters, which brings shows to the community and donates part of sales to charities.
Elynne has participated in more than 100 juried exhibitions and has won numerous awards. Her solo shows include those at Salus University, LG Tripp Gallery and Olitsky Gallery at Beth Or, among others.
She has been interviewed by Philadelphia Magazine, Art Matters and The Exponent. A contributing author to Reiki News Magazine, her article “Reiki Inspired Art” talks about the connection between creative inspiration and healing intent.
RP: Elynne, your new artistic direction is very unique and exciting. It impressed me so much that I selected one of your paintings to win an Award of Excellence in Manhattan Arts International’s “The Healing Power of ART 2016” juried exhibition. Could you describe this new body of work?
ER: I’ve always toggled back and forth between objective art and abstraction. After a decade of painting variations on succulent plants I have begun a series of pure abstracts, though the imagery quotes symbols familiar to those who practice Reiki. I’ve been a Reiki master/teacher for a while now, and the goal of my paintings is to impart positive Reiki energy to viewers in addition to giving them something quite pleasing to look at and think about. I call the series “Divine Alignment”.
RP: Elynne, could you tell us the background of how you became an artist?
ER: I earned my MFA in 1977. At that time, there were only a few schools granting this degree. It considered the equivalent of the doctorate in fine arts. As one of only five painters in the program, I was granted a teaching associateship, which meant that at age 21 I was teaching at the college level.
The work I was developing came out of the context of art history, aesthetics and classical music. It was a continuum of what came before and I envisioned myself developing a new idiom of artistic expression.
I fully expected to be a college professor at the very least, and assumed that my work would sell enough to supplement my academician’s salary. Reality set in after several years, and although I spent some time being cynical about being an artist, I didn’t quit producing art. Nearly forty years later I am still a studio artist. I know that I am doing what I was meant to do.
RP: What is your perception of “professional” artist?
The word “professional” as it pertains to artists is quite overrated. Why do we consider the word “amateur” to be a pejorative term? It derives from the Latin word “amat” meaning he/she loves. An amateur is one who loves. Art is my life’s work. I am not ashamed to be an “amateur”.
RP: What advice do you like to offer individuals who are planning to pursue art as a career?
ER: Don’t go into art expecting that it will be lucrative, especially in the current market. But if you love it, learn something compatible with your need to create; either in a related field such as design, graphics etc. or something totally unrelated that doesn’t exhaust your creativity but provides income freeing you to do what you love. But don’t let go of the dream that it might turn into something more for you. Dreaming is healthy for the creative spirit, as long as you are also grounded.
RP: Why did you decide to become an artist? What was your motivation?
ER: As a child I was blessed with creativity in several areas. I played classical guitar, was the star of the play, the editor of the literary magazine (a poet). I also drew well. In college it seemed time to choose and I went with the thing I thought I could impact the most. Like many young people I wanted to leave a legacy. I wished to be that woman who broke through the boy’s club of famous artists. I guess you could say that why I became an artist is completely incongruous with why I remain an artist.
RP: Elynne, what’s your next art event?
ER: On October 6th I’ll be speaking at Salus University along with Lynn Greenspan, an optometrist. The talk is called “Vision and Perception in Art”. She’ll be addressing the question “why we see what we see?” I’ll be speaking to how we perceive and interpret the visual information that comes in. As an example we are using my painting that will hang in the show “VISIONARY” which runs through November 9th.
(See details about this event at the end of this page.)
My concept was to show the work “Insight” in the first orientation (see above), but at one point I placed the right panel to the left by accident, and liked it just as much.
Art this event, I’m going to have the audience decide which way they like it better, and discuss why they feel as they do. Whichever way they prefer is how the work will hang for the duration.
RP: That will be an exciting interactive experience.
Elynne, I also notice you are very active and visible on Facebook. How do you maximize the potential of social media?
ER: A few years back I began a Facebook page ElynneRosenfeldArtist. While it directs folks to my website, it also has updates, photos, videos and articles I find interesting. With a following of 1,260, I have finally found a steady audience!
It’s not difficult to do – but it takes time to develop, and you have to know that Facebook does not circulate posts from a page unless you are willing to pay.
Here’s what I advise: First invite all your friends to like your page. When you have 100 likes you are allowed to boost posts. Boost the ones you really want people to see to promote your brand; a snappy headline helps, along with a good photo. Facebook gives you options: the duration of post, the budget, (start with $5.00. It’s enough to get folks to like the post) the demographic (experiment with this and feel free to change it if the first post doesn’t do as well as you’d like), and how long you’d like it to run. Have fun with this!
RP: Thank you for that tip. Elynne, what article did you enjoy reading the most on this website and why?
This new website is a treasure trove of information for artists! My favorite, however is “Art Pioneers Who Are Changing The World”. It speaks to me personally, as I have had to reframe what I once considered to be failure in an art world that has become obsolete. The ideas expressed and the artists mentioned inspire me to take my Reiki intention and work it into something that brings positivity into a larger context. That in turn, fills me with enthusiasm for my own next chapter.
RP: Elynne, I wish you continued bliss and I look forward to seeing how the new chapters you create unfold.
Visit Elynne Rosenfeld’s website: http://elynnenrosenfeld.com
About Elynne Rosenfeld’s Event
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