Inside the Artist’s Studio with Ellie Honl: Part II

Hello, my name is Ellie Honl and for this second post, I would like to share a little more about my creative process with you.

I first want to give you a glimpse at my creative process by using a diagram I recently created.  I feel like there are unlimited ways that one can be an artist and I want to share with you the way that I work.

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Creative process by diagram: to be read from top to bottom

I always start by observing the environment around me whether I am actively or passively taking part in it. After looking over the art I have made from the last ten years, I recently discovered that I have always been inspired by wonder, and my curiosity about the unknown. That sense of wonder has come from the natural world as well as the human constructed. I do some research about the thing that has inspired me and then I jump into experimenting and playing with process. I evaluate these outcomes and continue experimenting. Why “experiment” instead of “make art?” I feel like it is much easier to be creative when there is no pressure or self judgement. I do more experimenting, then spend time researching things related to the outcomes. I assemble the pieces with this new knowledge while I try to balance opposing forces. Then I re-evaluate and continue creating.

Inspiration:
So what is wonder? It is the zone between the known and unknown. It is the child-like sense of awe and amazement. It could also be the sublime, horrific, and grotesque. It is the rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience.

Over the past seven years, here are some images of things that have inspired wonder in me, and which I have included in my artwork:

A swarm of starling birds

A swarm of starling birds

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 12.27.17 PM

Colorful mold

Wardian Cases from the Victorian era.

Wardian Cases from the Victorian era.

Naturally occurring, geometric minerals.

Naturally occurring, geometric minerals.

The Maunsell Sea Forts, England.

The Maunsell Sea Forts, England.

Process:
The mediums I use to create my artwork are primarily printmaking with the addition of photography, and time-based media (video).

Printmaking is the transference of an image from a matrix (wood block, copper plate, silkscreen) by use of pressure onto another substrate – usually a piece of paper. I love printmaking because of its unique look and its ability to work well with other mediums. Because the original image (matrix) is not destroyed, it allows me to experiment more and to create a lot of variations.

I’m currently using photography in my work in the form of the alternative process technique called cyanotype. I love the moody blues it produces and it is extremely quick and easy. I’ve been making photograms with it by laying objects on top of the paper I’ve coated with the solution then placing it in the sun to expose.

"Coming Together" was created by exposing gravel and bark to the cyanotype-coated paper.

“Coming Together” was created by exposing gravel and bark to the cyanotype-coated paper.

I use stop-motion animation to compliment the whimsical, quirky feel of the prints and to bring their narrative to life. I like that the medium is appealing and more accessible to people. The process is very time-consuming, but the results are like magic!

A setup of my stop-motion workspace.

A setup of my stop-motion workspace.

That is a quick synopsis of my creative process as well as an explanation of the techniques I use to create my artwork. For more images of my artwork and explanations about them, check out my website at www.elliehonl.com  Thanks for following and make sure to check out the show Structurally Speaking.

2 thoughts on “Inside the Artist’s Studio with Ellie Honl: Part II”

  1. Hello!
    I believe I came across a piece you created – Rochester Skyline 148/200
    I was shocked to find it in a shop here in LA, as Rochester is my hometown!
    I’m just curious as to the market value? Although I would never sell it – it’s beautiful and now holds a special spot in my home. Oh, and I am a graduate of RIT!
    Thank you in advance for your input.
    Warm regards~
    Gigi

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