Written by Taylor Kaiser
Photographed by Julia Madden Sears
As Liz Hewell welcomed me into her art studio, I heard the echo of my mother’s voice: Hands in your pockets, Taylor, don’t touch. I was way out of my element, but Liz, surrounded by canvases showcasing works-in-progress from some of Anderson University’s best artists, was clearly at home.
Even in high school, Liz dedicated herself to art. Since then, she has been able to experiment with and explore the styles and techniques of her two favorite artists, Simon Birch and Jenny Saville. Both artists, Liz points out, capture something deeper in their paintings than can be captured by a camera. “We all share very similar basic experiences and emotions,” she explains, and this shared human experience is what Liz wants to present in her work.
On display in her studio are three of her paintings, each one exploring the private mind, the intimate human experience of daydreaming, and each one revealing a figure caught somewhere between sleep and consciousness.
“My figures and portraits aren't about the models themselves, but about the lives they live and the roles they perform.” Liz says that she hopes those who see her work will be able to experience her art as she experiences art that touches her and “relate to the emotions and movement” she strives to express.
Liz's art goes beyond what in photography might be thought of as captured external reality to explore and expose an inner reality. She depicts emotional experience masterfully with color, movement, and texture—making her audience want to simply stand there with the work for a while, eyes as wide as a child's, to slowly take it in.