When you walked into her studio in Long Island City, you were transported back to your childhood. Bursting in color and sparkling in glitter, it is a world of joy, hope, and love. She has since moved to Miami, setting up another environment of creativity as only she can do. Elizabeth Sutton is a self-taught artistic machine. Her comfort zone lies between butterfly dreams and the end of a rainbow. Elizabeth Sutton Collection is a brand and a movement of survival through art, creativity, and design. Her personality immeasurably draws you into her world of expertly executed linear murals, strong message panels, color coded landscapes, brand logo products, and ambitious collaborations.
I knew I could relate to her on many levels, especially spiritually. Being an artist myself, I found my happy place in every painting that hung on the walls of her studio. It brought memories of Crayola boxes, paint kits, brushes, and canvases that saved me during difficult times in my childhood as well as the challenging adult times. Among many works, “Art Heals all Wounds” and “Blessing in Disguise” are two of Elizabeth’s paintings that tell her story.
After some unfortunate circumstances, Elizabeth picked up her paintbrush and built an empire in a short time. A-List celebrities such Kylie Jenner and Andrea Botticelli have collected her original art. Collaborations with Joe & The Juice and Jankovic made her a mega brand superstar with building size murals of her work around NYC.
Miami has produced many more outlets in furniture design, tile, jewelry, and carpets. You may have taken a photo in front of her bull mural at the Wall Street Grill or sipped your drink by her art at the DoMa gallery. You could have walked past her painting at the Eden Roc Hotel, St Barts. She does not plan on stopping and I am happy and proud of her success.
She honors her career with excellence in her craft. The press adores her, and she is often covered in the “Wall Street Journal,” “Architectural Digest,” “The New York Times,” and “Forbes.” She has become an artistic explosion heard across the intersections of art, design, fashion, home décor. and architecture. Her clients and social media admire and relate to her positive force.
Elizabeth’s mastery of color is a spiritual journey. I knew what I would ask her had to be thoughtful, insightful, and truthful.
Tobi, “Do you believe your artistic talent is G-d given?”
Elizabeth, “I believe that everything in life is God-given, especially innate talent. I never studied art, never took an art class, and I never study color theory. My career developed out of necessity, hard work, and now I am realizing pain. I am self-driven and work incredibly hard, but I certainly believe that I was blessed with many creative talents. These talents were granted to me from G-d, for which I’m incredibly grateful.”
Tobi, “Does your art reflect what G-d has given you?”
Elizabeth, “My art reflects my life experiences, and my process is definitely a path to heal from challenging obstacles I’ve been through. Growing up religious, I have always been a faithful person, and have continued that spirituality into my adulthood. I express gratitude and pray daily. I believe that all the obstacles put in my way were put there by G-d to give me strength and the capacity to get through life with a positive perspective.”
Tobi, “Is there a place in the art world for true faith or fake faith?”
Elizabeth, “I hate to say it because I’ll get ‘shunned, but I personally feel that much of the art world is fake. I am not sure that the concept of faith is ingrained within the world of the arts. Ironically, I find the nature of the bureaucracy behind the gallery and museum fine art world to lack authenticity and uniqueness. It creates an expectation for people to follow certain paths, and not necessarily focus on talent. I personally don’t find that faith is attached to the art world, but I am certain that individuals within the art world are faithful themselves.”
Tobi, “Do you need faith to be in the current art arena?”
Elizabeth, “I feel as though faith is a personal choice that is particular to the individual and not tied to an industry. There are both faithful and nonfaithful people in all industries. However, I do find that many artists have some sort of belief. This is a generalization, but creatives who follow their passion are often making some type of statement whether it be related to politics, society, faith, or culture. I do not want to label the industry, so all I can say is that it personally plays a role in my life, in my art, and in my capabilities as a mother and human being. I don’t think I’d be able to get through anything without having a strong sense of spirituality and faith that G-d is watching over me, my family, and is always protecting us.”
Tobi, “If your art could compose a prayer what might it look like?”
Elizabeth, “My dear spiritual advisor, friend, and mentor Tobi Rubinstein got me on a path to lighting my Shabbat candles every Friday, no ifs, and, or buts. The next artwork that I would love to create in the arena of faith is a painting of a photograph of a woman lighting her Shabbat candles. This tradition has taken on special meaning to me. I light my candles alongside my two incredible children, and during these moments I express gratitude to G-d for blessing me with my many talents, with my strength, with my intelligence, with my health, and with my family. I ask G-d to protect and watch over all those that I care about. I ask G-d to give me the strength to become a better person and take away any sort of evil that may live inside me and give me the strength to get through any obstacles in my way. I would like the painting of a woman lighting Shabbat candles to evoke feelings and sentiments of strength, family, love, support, gratitude, and a strong belief in G-d.”
Where does color fit into Judaism? The message of color is seen throughout the Torah (Bible). Joseph’s brightly colored coat provoked jealousy and outrage from his brothers. The ashes of red unblemished heifers provided the ultimate ritual cleansing. The precise shade of techilis blue needed was woven into the costume worn by the high priest in the Holy Temple. The rainbow of colors after a rainstorm is the promise from G-d to never repeat worldly destruction as He did in the time of Noah and the flood.
However, I find the most in-depth reality of color in Kabbalistic teachings. The correspondence between the Divine Emanations/Sefirot, and their associated colors, taught by Rabbi Joseph Tzayach (c. 1500 C.E.), explored and explained further by Rabbi Moshe Cordovero (author of the “Code of Jewish Law”) in his book Pardes Rimonim.
The Divine Sefirot and their allegorical colors are as follows:
- Crown/Keter – A blinding invisible light.
The Sefirot of Intellect:
- Wisdom/Chokhmah – Includes all colors.
- Understanding/Binah – Yellow and Green.
The 7 Sefirot of Emotion (emanations):
- Loving kindness/Chesed – White and Silver.
- Strength/Judgement/Restraint/Gevurah – Red and Gold.
- Beauty/Mercy/Tiferes – Yellow and Violet.
- Eternity/Victory/Netzakh – Light Pink.
- Splendor/Humility/Hod – Dark Pink.
- Foundation/Connection/Yesod – Orange.
- Sovereignty/Malchus – Blue.
There is an interesting Jewish monthly chart reflecting traits through colors and the original twelve tribes of Israel:
- The month of Tishrei is purple for the tribe of Efrayim with attributes on touch, foundation, and proof.
- The month of Chesvan is deeper purple for the tribe of Menasha with attributes on loving kindness and smell.
- The month of Kislev is light royal blue for Binyamin with attributes of sleep.
- The month of Tevet is darker royal blue for the tribe of Dan with attributes of anger.
- The month of Shevat is teal blue for the tribe of Asher with attributes of eating.
- The month of Adar is lime green for the tribe of Naftali with attributes of laughter.
- The month of Nisan is darker lime green for the tribe of Yehudah that attributes faith and speech.
- The month of Iyar is yellow for the tribe of Yisaskar with attributes of understanding, joy and thought.
- The month of Sivan is gold for the tribe of Zebulon with attributes of progress, acknowledgment, and sincerity.
- The month of Tammuz is orange for the tribe of Reuben with attributes of might and awe.
- The month of Av is orange red for the tribe of Shimon with attributes of kingdom, and lowliness.
- The month of Elul is red for the tribe of Gad and attributes beauty, mercy, and action.
- The month of Adar Sheni is black to grey for the tribe of Levi with attributes of knowledge and unification.
Color and the use of color is a deep mediation with each shade created by G-d in Breishis (Genesis) in the creation of each day. G-d created color to be used in many different circumstances, yet for Elizabeth Sutton, the emotions of color with different hues are in all aspects of her life and business.
Tobi, “How has the pandemic changed you and your art?”
Elizabeth, “It has definitely made me more resilient and adaptable to change. I restructured my entire business and moved my family and business to a new city which was a major life shift and not an easy decision to make. But as someone who thrives on inspiration, New York had become a highly uninspiring place to be, and I knew that for the sake of both me and my children’s mental health I needed to make the move.
Everything in life is about attitude, perspective, and how we view things. I feel that COVID-19 19 was a blessing for me and my family. I put a lot of structure in place in my business and got to spend the extra time with my kids. I definitely feel as though people can now relate more to certain artworks that were inspired by loss and traumas, as almost everyone in the world has just gone through a trauma whether they feel it ended up being a positive or negative.”
My hope for everyone to learn from her is that the palette and path of your own individual life will connect you to the colorful moments that G-d has blessed you with, no matter how uncolorful you feel at times of distress, challenge, turmoil, and doubt. Turn yourself around to see the beautiful colors in yourself and others.