By Lisa Morgan
To try and sum up the many parts that make the ever evolving and blooming creative force that is Elizabeth Christopher – woman, daughter, mother, wife, friend, artist, writer, poet, photographer, film maker – with words in one article, is quite literally attempting the impossible. “Well, then, just talk about the art,” one might say. Elizabeth and everything she has touched, thought, read, felt, tasted, breathed and experienced can never be separated from her creative works, and those life experiences and influences are countless. She shares on her website that her “creative streams are fed by personal excavation, nature, global travel, fashion and design, and shared life experiences with other cultures.” Taking into account that her artistic assignments having taken her to over 25 countries, including China, France, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Chile/Easter Island, Mexico, Ecuador/ Galapagos Islands, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Greece and others, her creative streams run deep, far and wide. Her work is visionary, intuitive and emotional, and most definitely emanates from a deep inner vibration.
Elizabeth seems to be able to freely funnel, through her eyes, heart, mind and hands, what the universe might be intuitively delivering through her and for her, as well as to those fortunate enough to reflect upon her work. It’s like a dance made up of all forms and disciplines that is in a state of constant crescendo. Enveloped in creativity, along with her husband and true love, Scott Christopher, Elizabeth creates with the confidence of a master and the humility of an eternal student. The best I can do, is introduce you to a being who lives and breathes creativity, who loves fearlessly and pours herself onto her canvas and into her photographic art so openly and intuitively and reflectively, that you would swear she has set before you a mirror that is reflecting a piece of your soul. Simply put, it’s magic. “Creativity frees creativity, frees freedom,” shares Elizabeth. “The more I create, the freer I become, and the freer the idea of freedom becomes. That’s when you reach that magic place.”
Apart from my own opinion of her art, Elizabeth Christopher is an internationally recognized artist and published writer. She studied art history at the University of London, and art, photography and poetry at Bowdoin College. After earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree, she continued her artistic exploration in New York City, studying design at Parsons School of Design and The New York Botanical Garden. She also studied creative writing at New York University. Elizabeth’s artistic mission is to “encourage self-exploration, and to celebrate the beauty that surrounds us and imbues each of our personal journeys.”
“I never thought about it in the sense of, ‘I am going to be an artist.’ I never put a label on it like that. Creativity was part of who I was. It was a piece of me that I didn’t question. I simply liked to make things. I would just naturally explore at home or in art classes in elementary school. I was fortunate to have parents that exposed me at an early age to art, travel and museums. It became a part of life – something that I had to do. I would sit in my room and write a poem and then I’d create a picture to go with the poem… I was doing it just for myself. As I matured, the joy of sharing art as an outward expression evolved. It’s very important to me to create art that other people can immerse themselves in visually and emotionally, and have a personal experience with. I go into this deep place within me, but it’s really connecting with that universal place that we’re all experiencing in different ways. I hope that what I’m creating intuitively, is something that creates a passageway for other people to explore whatever it is they need to tap into.” She also intuitively creates art with the hope that it will live and breathe timelessly. “You might see something today that, years from now, you discover a whole different layer to. You might, in that moment, find something different that needs to be expressed. They are passage ways for me as well; a jumping off point for self-exploration.”
The magic doesn’t just happen between Elizabeth and her canvas, camera or writing. It also happens in her personal life. Years ago, Scott Christopher found himself alone with a newborn, a 1 year old and a 6 year old, when his wife passed away unexpectedly. Some time afterward, driven by a very clear and real vision that came to him as he was painting late into the night in Santa Fe, Scott went regularly to a particular restaurant/bar where local artists convened. There he would sit and wait in the chair that his vision promised would lead him to his soul mate. “I have always listened to my visions when they have appeared, so I sat in that chair on and off for five years, shared Scott. “ I don’t even drink! I would just sit in that back corner sipping ice water.” One night, the vision prodded him once again. Scott set his paint brush down, went up to the bar, sat in the chair and waited once more.
“I went into the bar quite unknowingly,” shares Elizabeth. Visiting from New York, she and a friend went to a place that was suggested to them, “where all the locals went.” “I was sitting at the bar, having a glass of wine. I looked over to my right, and observed some people sitting there. I went back to my conversation. I looked to my right again, moments later, and Scott was there. I’d never felt that kind of energy before. I thought, ‘Wow there’s something very special about that person.’ I didn’t know exactly where that ‘specialness’ was going to take me, but I definitely knew immediately, that there was a special something. Later that evening, the opportunity arose for us to sit down together and the connection we shared suddenly became crystal clear. Within 24 hours we were creating together.” That was 11 years ago. Elizabeth has since adopted their three daughters. “Being a part of this family of artists who know how to deeply love, has been the ultimate experience for me.”
“It’s pretty much true that Scott and I are immersed in creativity. I think it’s important. It takes that kind of immersion to keep digging deeper and getting to those magic places. We are blessed to be in a relationship where we’re both artists. There is continuous creative energy throughout our home. We’re always encouraging, inspiring and sometimes challenging each other, which I think is beautiful, both as a couple and as individual artists. To be able to be an individual and have an individual voice, but to also be inspired by your lover, your best friend, your husband…it just takes it to another level. It’s a very powerful thing.”
“Positivity isn’t always easy,” shares Elizabeth. “I was hospitalized twice at an early age. There are some underlying fear components in my world for sure, but deep down inside there is an innate trust that the universe will take care of me; that what is meant to be, will be. The more I surrender to that, the more I feel the magic.”
“In my late 20’s, I had Epstein-Barr, and had to extract myself from the full-time work force for almost 2 years. It shook my self-esteem, sense of self and my self-worth. I started to reach into my creativity as something I could do that didn’t take much physical strength, and delved deeper into my art. I read a book called Writing Down the Bones, Freeing the Writer, by Natalie Goldberg and learned more about free-writing. I owe much to that book, as I really began to dive into uncensored, creativity.”
“Meeting Scott propelled everything. He has such an intuitive sense of creativity that comes from within; he spoke a creative language that I understood, and that inspired me.” But once again, the principle came into play that “positivity isn’t always easy.” Two months after Elizabeth met Scott, still soaring on the pink cloud of newly found love, her mother, with whom she shared the closest of relationships, passed away unexpectedly. “Scott, having been through what he’d been through, was a tremendous support, and it propelled my creativity into uncharted territory. I needed to explore things after that traumatizing loss. As I re-gained my footing, I needed to have somewhere to channel my pain. I put it on the canvas and in my writing. Things truly happen for a reason.”
Elizabeth will be bringing a host of paintings and photographs to the AMFM Festival. Of her paintings, there will be a mixture of some of her deep, internal, figurative work along with her abstract “Light” series that explores light in all its senses – literal, figurative and metaphorical. “I feel my ‘Light’ series is extremely successful in creating those passageways. Light is energy. Everything is energy, and we’re made of light. It’s the perfect element with which to explore.” Elizabeth will also be showing her photography, which displays deep composition, content, and a recognizable perspective that is uniquely hers. In both art forms you can sometimes catch a peek at the caressing inspiration Elizabeth and Scott have on each other’s work.
And here I am, out of space with so much more to share about this very open and giving artist. But here is the good news. The AMFM Festival has been created with an open atmosphere of artists of all forms coming together with an infinite amount of creative energy. Every artist, including Elizabeth Christopher and Scott Christopher, are ready to meet, converse and share their inspirations and experiences. You will truly be better for time spent amidst this artist and her work.
To learn more about Elizabeth Christopher and Scott Christopher’s work, visit the following media links:
For information and tickets to the AMFM Festival, in Cathedral City, June 13-16th, go to http://amfmfest.com/
A Poem By Elizabeth
in reflections of new memories
old mornings travel in suitcases
still wet canvases
today forgot to be a song
as evening dries across the sky
– Elizabeth Christopher, 2011