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Intuitive Abstract Artist, El Løvaas

Written by JM Home

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Posted on April 26 2020

Norwegian intuitive artist based in San Diego. El Lovaas was born and raised in a small town in Norway. The long dark winters allowed her to spend much of her time indoors creating a variety of art. El put her passion for painting on hold to raise three children who are all young professional artists. She has returned to her passion in her Southern California studio. El appreciates all the valuable lessons from art professors and schools, but developing her skills outside the structure of the traditional classroom gave her the true freedom she needed to create meaningful work.

“To create authentic work we have to go through the process of self discovery and come face-to-face with ourselves and be brave enough to be vulnerable and leave our egos.”

What’s your morning routine?
Before I open my eyes, I have a moment of gratitude and set my intentions for the day. After a quick skincare routine, I make a big mug of coffee and bring it to my studio. I observe how my work from the day before has dried. I spend some time writing and then take my pups River and Levi on their morning walk while I most days facetime my family in Norway and then enjoy a meditation in nature. Then back to my studio to lose track of time and play until sundown.

Artist El Lovaas

“Layer upon layer, my intuition guides me as I collaborate with paints, graphite charcoal, pastels, textures, wax and oil. I also incorporate crushed gemstones with healing properties into my work. It’s all about energy and balance and my goal is always to evoke emotion, as it is a free flowing expression of my truth. When I’m working in my studio, I get out of my head and into my heart and get into a meditative flow.

What inspires you to create every day?
When I really learned to see, I began finding inspiration and beauty everywhere. Nature inspires my work and is where I find my color palette. It can be the fallen bark from a Eucalyptus tree, the symmetry in the patterns of a butterfly's wings, the dew in grass, the list goes on. I also find inspiration in everyday life - layers of peeling paint on old buildings, an aerial photograph, something rusted, patterns in the sidewalk or an interior designers mood board. I see art everywhere, and because of that, I am always inspired.

“I often spend months on a piece and it is completed when I don’t wonder if it is completed, I just know. Every day in the studio is a learning experience and I’m grateful to be able to do what I love.

What does your work space look like?
I feel so lucky to have moved from the kitchen table to my very own studio. It has a big balcony with a beautiful view of Eucalyptus trees and I love being able to paint outside. Inside my studio there are stacks of unfinished works, paints, pigments, drawers full of papers, a wall sized mood board, raw canvas rolled up and paint splatters in the most unexpected places.

Describe the core of your technique or style.
I work from intuition with the intention to amplify the energy in the paintings future space. To me it's all about energy and balance and my goal is to evoke emotion. My work is a free flowing expression of my truth. I lean in and welcome whatever happens. Layer upon layer, mark after mark, day after day. Chance and risk are a big part of my process. I work with mixed media, acrylic paint, ink, pigment, pastels, fibers, paper and crushed gemstones. I add, emphasize, minimize and play. Then, after months of work, the piece is complete, leaving itself open for you to see what you see.

What are your top 3 studio essentials?
When I enter my studio, I begin with smudging to clear the energy before I begin my free flowing creative process. I light a few candles and most of the time work in silence. Some of my favorite essential tools are paint brushes I make from things I find in nature. I’m not sure what I would do without my Delta spray bottle, and I am obsessed with pigment.

How do you know or decide when an artwork is finished?
My artwork is complete, when I no longer wonder if it is - I just know. When there is nothing to add and nothing to take away, I will move the painting to a new space with new light. I let different lighting give me their stamp of approval. Maybe my work isn’t entirely complete, until others see it and offer their own interpretations and imaginations.

What do you like to do to unwind after a day’s work?
I am such a homebody. After being on my feet painting on big surfaces all day, a hot bath is my favorite place to unwind. A home made dinner and long table chat with my family fills my heart. I love to watch movies with my husband, at home or in the theaters. My three children are all young adult professional artists - we all enjoy creating together. We play with clay, bring out the sewing machine and make one of a kind garments, film videos, edit photos, make jewelry, the list goes on.


What's your overall favorite aspect of the creative process?
There is something very exciting about starting a new piece - from prepping the substrate, making the first marks and choosing the colors. It’s a new beginning that will have challenges to overcome and there will be moments where I am in awe with what happens on the substrate. When the painting starts to tell me what to do, is when it takes on a life of its own and I think that is my favorite part of the process.

“I create simply because I do not know how not to.” 

Explore the El Collection