Thea-McElvy-HeadShot

The McElvy

Portraitist

     I’ve been creative all my life, and in 2014 I went to a gallery in Savannah. I’d been there a hundred times before, but for some reason this time it just struck me that all the art there was so bright and beautiful. It was not the stuff that I normally did, and I thought, “If this is what I’m attracted to, why am I not doing this?” And so, I got home right after that, and I started doing these wild crazy colored paintings, and have just had a ball since then. The first one I did, I sat at my easel and cried. I just thought, “This just feels like art.”

     I started doing a lot of movie stars just because they are forgiving. It’s not family members. If I mess it up they’re not going to come back and tell me how ugly it is, so it is pretty forgiving to just paint somebody random. I stared out doing a lot of movie stars, but I’m really trying to move into my own thing now, so that’s it really. People mostly. I’m wanting to do a few new things. I’m wanting to try some animals and some fruits – still life sort of stuff – but we’ll see. I’ve had people give me things that they want me to paint, and I’m like, “Ugh, I’m just not feeling it.” And I used to paint those things, but if I did feel it and they wanted it, I’d paint it anyway, and I’ve just gotten to where I’m too old for that. I’m going to paint what really makes my heart soar, and I’ve just learned to follow my instinct a lot more than ever, and in doing that, my art has gone so much further.