1 ::: Why are you an artist Lisa?
I don't think it is a question of why
or why not; it's just who I am and what
I do. A few possible influences come to
mind. My mother was always interested
in theater, and she was an artist herself.
I remember visiting many museums when
I was young. Traveling to Israel when
I was twelve had a huge impact on how
I saw the world-the contrasts, the old
and the new, and also being exposed for
the first time to a different way of viewing
the world. And, finally, when I began
working with clay in my teens, I felt
I had found something of my own.
+2 ::: Could you tell us some more about
I work on several paintings at a time.
I am using charcoal, graphite and erasers,
along with oil paint, encaustic, and collage
elements to bring the paintings to a point
where I can sit with them and determine
the focus. They evolve over time. Process
is very important: mark-making, layering,
covering up and uncovering, scraping,
sanding, erasing-all help to create a
rich archaeological feel.
+3 ::: Many of
your works have an Asian feel about them.
Can you explain where this comes from?
I have always been attracted to the Asian
wing at the Met; it is the one section
I always walk through. I love the scrolls.
The combination of text and imagery, the
feel of the pieces, is fascinating (even
without knowing the language). I am drawn
to the pottery, the calligraphy, and haiku.
I collect postcards, stamps, and handmade
papers. Some of the recent work incorporates
paper that has Japanese and Chinese calligraphy
woven into it.
+4 ::: What artists have influenced you,
are a few artists I admire:
Joan Mitchell: her use of color, brushstroke,
her abstract painting of nature and landscape
Guston: the courage of his later
paintings, humor, irony
Pollock: the power of the unconscious
lights and dark
Vermeer: the window light
Japanese art: the beauty, the mark
the joy of color, the use of black
emotive power of color light
Johns and Frank Stella: intelligence
Eva Hesse: oddness, quirky, the beauty
of the strange, the persona
Bacon: pain, alienation
Giacometti: wonderful drawings
Amy Stillman: contemporary, interesting,
Andy Goldsworthy: amazing use of materials,
landscape and nature
Joan Synder: words, story paint
Michal Revner: the real thing, image,
depth, intelligent, personal yet political
The use of media (photography and video
) in a painterly way
+5 ::: What other interests do have (besides
movies, collecting postcards and stamps,
and drinking good wine with good friends
::: What inspires you to paint and how
do you keep motivated when things get
tough in the studio?
The inspiration for the abstract work
begins in the studio with drawing, color,
and just playing around. As the paintings
evolve, the storyline unravels-a relationship
between intent and accident ( I know;
sounds like Pollock).
I am inspired by the process itself, which
includes the fear, the courage, the self-doubt,
and the bravado it takes to get to those
few Zen moments that make a painting work.
I am inspired by the shadows on the walls,
the colors and smells of the seasons,
gardening books, poems, and words.
With the postcard series, it is the postcards
that inspire me. Sometimes it's the image;
at other times, it's the text or the handwriting,
and I am inspired by the communication
of the cards. It is a lost art.
When things get tough in the studio, I
will switch mediums, or read, or try to
market, or sometimes go to sleep on the
And at some point, I always come to the
realization that it is okay to make a
::: How have you handled the business
side of being an artist?
One of the most disappointing aspects
of my education (BA and MFA) was the lack
of preparation for the business side of
being an artist. I am always looking for
help in this area. I find the business
aspect to be challenging, and I always
feel that I am not doing enough. It takes
two different people-the one who makes
the art and the one who goes out and tries
to sell it- and I find it difficult to
be both at the same time, so the marketing
comes in spurts.
::: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In theory, it would be great to have several
supportive galleries around the country,
to be able to have one-person shows, to
be included in museum shows, and to sell
the work at lucrative prices. Realistically,
I would like to sell the work consistently
so that I can continue to make art.
::: Could you talk about your latest series
of paintings and what you are trying to
achieve with them?
At the moment, I have several
series in progress. I have been doing
a few pastel drawings with very rich color
and texture, using the Japanese papers.
The paintings are triptychs, 12"
x 12", with "hurdles" or
::: What advice would you give to an artist
just starting out?
Get the business skills, and make sure
you have backup plans on how to make a
As far as making art: have a space, and
go in there every day, and do what feels