For Elissa Levy, creating a work of art is more than just making something pretty. She wants to create a connection to raw human emotion.

For Elissa Levy, creating a work of art is more than just making something pretty. She wants to create a connection to raw human emotion. 

“It means an awful lot to me when a stranger can approach my work and make a genuine relation to it,” Levy says. “I am infatuated with the ability possessed by art to distort and yet portray truth — absolute or personal.” 

It is safe to say that art has changed her perspective on life. 

“As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety for several years, art has been a means of displaying a lot of the feelings that I’ve encountered as a result,” she said. “Ones that I try to verbalize but never as accurately.” 

While she works in both soft and oil pastel, colored pencil, graphite, chalk and charcoal, her favorite way to paint is through her signature style. It’s a combination of coffee, watercolor and ink she calls CoffeeColours. 

“My CoffeeColour series has been focused on taking a single word and portraying a physical expression to convey the emotional expression,” Levy said. “When I first started the series, I made an effort to mast a lot of the coffee staining in the face of the subject. As time went by I realized that the stains were reflective of our metaphorical ‘stains’ as individuals — with heavy inspiration from my own perception of incredible beauty. I decided to embrace what I had once seen as flaws,” she said. 

Having never attended art school, Levy is self-taught. As she explains it, everything has been trail and lots of error. Growing up in Camdenton, her high school experience opened many doors for her to be able to explore various types of media. After graduation she moved to Daytona Beach, Fla. for a few years to study massage therapy and esthetics. She returned to Lake of the Ozarks earlier this year. 

“Really, it was just a back-up plan in the event I couldn’t make it as an artist,” Levy said. “But here I am 21 and doing okay.”

About Elissa

See her work at Great Stone Coffee, Ozark Distillery, A Trace of Grace on Facebook, and ella_overdrive on Instagram. For more information, contact her at TraceofGrace@yahoo.com.