Some composers write music to describe an idea; others express an emotion or tell a story. What are your reasons for painting? Why and how do you start a new work?
I’m not entirely sure that I have a reason for painting. I just want to do it.
My work is always abstract or contemporary, or what is more commonly referred to as abstract expressionism. There is no real structure but more of a flow which is undefined. Most of the time my work has a very fluid feel. If I am doing a painting with movement I’ll add various solutions to make it flow which I really love. The paint reacts to my manipulations and every time it is a different result which I also love. No two paintings can ever be the same. I do try to coax the paint along, into my way of thinking, but it also has a mind of its own so in the end, it is a collaboration between myself and the paint.
I’ll use a much thicker paint when I’m paining something less fluid but it is always very contemporary. I couldn’t really tell you why I choose one over the other. It may simply be that I haven’t done a certain style for a while and I think it’s about time I change things up but in any case my style of paining offers complete freedom, a result that is unplanned and so full of uncertainties.
If I haven’t painted for a while I definitely feel as if I am missing out on something. As I write this it has been a few weeks since I painted and I’m really feeling that loss…or the need to create. In fact, thinking about it now I think I’ve always had the need to create ever since I was a little girl. I’d see something and think to myself, I can do that (but of course I couldn’t ) and I’d give it a shot. But I have always created something from bridal headpieces and jewellery to painting and now my newest venture…wearable art.
Jazz musicians improvise on a structure. Do you also improvise along the way, or do you already have the result in mind when you start?
I find that improvising is the only way I can paint well. If I have a contrived idea in mind it rarely goes to plan. The end result is often not what I had thought it would be at all so its best to just let it happen. When I am commissioned to paint for a client I make sure that we agree on the colour scheme and whether they want a fluid piece or something a little less fluid. I’m reluctant to use the work structured as my work is a far cry from any structure so I’ll stick with less fluid… That’s as far as my planning goes. In any case, I don’t offer a sample sketch. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s impossible. The end result is often a surprise to me but that’s actually the part I love. When I am commissioned privately I do like to feel that I am connected in some way to that person and so I may ask them what their favourite music might be and I’ll listen to that while painting…or at least start off that way. I may finish off with my music.
I wouldn’t combine my two styles of painting Well I haven’t yet…never say never.
I have often heard artists saying that they listen to music while working. Do you do that too?
I always listen to music when painting. Well, I start off playing something but I don’t always notice that the music has stopped. I can be painting for hours and hours and it feels like a fraction of the time has passed. When my kids were little and I had to pick them up from school I’d have to set my alarm to jolt me back to reality. It really is something that carries me away.
Painting has a certain rhythm to it and music is its natural partner.
My problem is that when I just want to touch something up or add just a smidge of this or that I don’t put music on as it is only going to take a moment to do…but that moment can become hours without even noticing.
I like to listen to all sorts of music while painting but something with a Latin feel seems to spur me on.
Some musicians wait for inspiration, while others work daily whether they are inspired or not. How do you prefer working?
Well that depends on a few things. If I am working with a designer or a gallery for a hotel project I will paint at every chance I can get so that I can offer them choices. There are deadlines to be met and sometimes the client may decide to change the colour scheme which means I need to start again. Fortunately this doesn’t happen very often but it does happen.
If I’m working just for myself I probably will wait for inspiration but that could come from anywhere. I could be stirring sugar into a latte, loving the way the coffee ripples with the milk, the way a tree casts a shadow on the wall, or just a blank canvas calling to me. Lately my wearable art is taking up a lot of my thoughts and my time. I seem to be forever on my laptop playing around with my images to make scarves, wraps and t-shirts. It’s a work in progress but it is consuming me at the moment. Even as I write this my mind is elsewhere, jumping form my studio to my computer to imagining someone wearing one of my designs. It’s all I can think of lately.
If you had to compare your works with a composer or an artist, who would it be?
I don’t think I can answer this one. I’ve been thinking about it and just can’t lol
Music pieces have a structure such as verse and chorus in pop music, theme and solos in jazz and the form exposition-development-reexposition for a classical sonata. How do you know when a painting is complete?
That’s a tough question. Its’ not always easy. More times than not I will think that I have finished a piece only to find myself back at the canvas, crawling around the floor (I paint on the floor sometimes) at 3 am. As the paint dries it changes and if those changes aren’t working it’s back to fiddling. Sometimes I should leave well enough alone and just be happy but that’s easier said than done. If I feel that there is balance and flow to my work I’ll put it down and leave if for a while, maybe a few days and come back to it. I do turn it upside down and look at it from all angles. Most of the time it is to be hung in the way I painted it but sometimes it will be upside down. That’s the beauty of abstract or contemporary painting. Bt once it is signed it could never be hung any other way. Painting can completely take over every waking moment. If I don’t have a brush or a painting knife in my hand then I’m thinking about it until it’s finished. It’s almost like reading a good book. The piece becomes so much a part of my life that when I do finish it I am left feeling a little empty.
Where to find more information about Lisa’s art
Please visit Lisa’s website for more information about her beautiful artworks below: