O-A: What is art to you?
Lucy Ghelfi: Art to me is essential in my life. The creative process is what I must do in order to process my thoughts and feelings. Painting is the path that keeps emotionally stable as I am able to process the challenges of everyday life and ward off chronic depression.
O-A: Who or what inspired you artistically?
Lucy Ghelfi: After my retirement from being an educator, I began taking studio art and art history classes at my local community college, I began to explore the art styles through the ages. A pivotal moment for me was when #1 – I learned about the Fauvist Movement and recalled my first encounter with a Raoul Dufy print while in high school and my initial visceral impression that never left me. #2 – The study of Expressionism, Post Expressionism and especially the work of Wassily Kandinsky captured my attention. Kandinsky’s work felt timeless and very modern. Never having art history lessons, I didn’t know Kandinsky’s work began in the late 1800’s and was influenced by van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Monet and others. I still get goose bumps looking at the abstract paintings of this period and that of current masters.
O-A: What wouldn’t you do without art? What did you discover, achieve with it?
Lucy Ghelfi: If I didn’t have my studio practice, I know I would most likely need strong anti-depressants. Art heals! The creative process has kept me emotionally stable. Teaching art has also shown me that making art helps those who need to mentally go to another place even for a little while; to escape, trauma, worries, stress etc. And, art heals the viewer, as has be proven all over the world in medical centers, clinics, and hospitals.
O-A: If a person, artist or not, influenced you, what kind of question would you ask him/her?
Lucy Ghelfi: I would ask Hilma af Klint, the first abstract painter, male or female, about her experience as a channel of her spiritual guide, Amaliel.
O-A: What is a vivid memory of a remark concerning your art that got stuck with you?
Lucy Ghelfi: I was part of a group show at the community college and I was gallery sitting. A young man made his way into the gallery and proceeded to look at the works on display. He stopped in front of my pieces (3) and gaped. He asked if I knew who the artist was, and I replied that they were mine. He smiled and when I asked why he wanted to know, he replied “I thought they were painted by some white dude.” That was our first conversation and we are good friends to this day.
O-A: How has your art changed over time? Why?
Lucy Ghelfi: Since I first began practicing abstraction in painting and ceramics 12 years ago, my journey has taken me from using latex paint, pouring and dripping paint on a canvas, ala Pollack, to mixed media paintings using paper, fabric and found objects. I am drawn to the organic and the natural world so many of my pieces reflect that inspiration. Currently, I am enjoying the use of bright saturated colors on paper and canvas. I want to take my work to another level that satisfies my need to push through any perceived limitations that have latched on to my psych. I always ask myself: What if…
Styles of art:
Informel, Matter Painting / Haute Pate, Process Painting