Maycie Elchoufi

I have no formal training in the arts; I trained as a physician. However, I have always enjoyed various types of art and I have been making art, in one form or another, for as long as I can remember (sketching, wheelwork, handbuilding, fiction writing). Periods of creating art came in sporadic, seemingly random, intervals – often when I had very little time or resources to be “indulging” in such non-academic pursuits. Although I did not consciously make the connection until later, I discovered that for me, the creative process was a form of self-care, healing, and finding a grounding force – particularly when faced with challenging life circumstances where I felt isolated or adrift. I view the act of making art and sharing art – regardless of subject matter or medium – a deeply restorative and transformative experience. I believe we are all creative beings; art connects us and allows us to tell our story and gain meaningful glimpses into one another’s minds and hearts. I didn’t learn any of this in medical school, but I have no doubt that art truly heals.

My most recent works are alcohol ink paintings. This relatively new medium is a unique and dynamic liquid. It drives me to work quickly and intuitively, which encourages me to stay in the present moment. I have many opportunities to practice being mindful and flexible when the inks inevitably run into each other and each droplet of ink physically shifts the pigments which have been previously applied, changing not only the colors but shapes of the individual elements. This challenges me to gently “guide” the medium’s fluidity without succumbing to my innate impulse to control it. The painting often takes on a life of its own, despite my attempts at imposing my will upon it. I find that when I “go with the flow” (which is not a response that comes easily to me), the resulting image is often considerably more beautiful and compelling than I could have attained if I had rigidly adhered to my original concept for the piece.  

Each of my limited-edition metal prints starts as an original painting, created by applying alcohol inks to Yupo (a water-resistant paper-like material), then moving the wet inks across the surface of the material by using different techniques to create various effects. After the original painting dries, it is digitized and the final image is printed on lightly brushed aluminum, which highlights the vibrancy and intricate fluidity of the medium.