Maddie and Kenzie
10th Street Bridge
|Experienced With||Teaching engagements, Commissions, Speaking engagements|
My goal with each portrait is to capture the essence and character of the subject in my paintings;
to create a portrait painting that is both realistic and artistic. My favorite subjects are people and animals. I find great satisfaction in creating art that will have personal meaning to the collector. My process consists of painting from life or photographs, depending on the client's needs. I paint in a traditional style, whereas I start with an underpainting drawing, then complete the painting through many stages of adding color and revisions along the way. I find that with each painting, there is an exciting journey of discovery, as I interpret my subject into a work of art.
At the young age of three, when most artists-to-be were coloring constantly and drawing better-than-average pictures, Lisa was scribbling across a coloring book page with a single orange crayon. She had too much energy to focus on stationary activities, and would rather be running and doing cartwheels. Lisa remembers her first rewarding portrait drawing experience in 5th grade, when the class was assigned to draw a portrait of someone they knew. Her mom was so impressed with Lisa’s drawing of her best friend that she gave it the rare honor of being placed in her memory folder. Lisa’s mother was a landscape artist, and filled their home with beautiful, vibrant watercolor paintings of local landscapes. Her mother’s art pursuits were not a full-time profession, which gave Lisa the impression that art could not be a sustainable career. When it came time to go to college, she decided to become a registered nurse, a practical but also meaningful vocation.
Only a year and a half after earning her BSN and getting married, something unexpected happened. Sudden pain and swelling in her joints sent her to the doctor’s and led to a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Lisa decided to “retire” from nursing and pursue her artistic talents, which did not require lifting and moving patients and walking around for 8-12 hour shifts! Still thinking of art in a practical manor, she thought a job in graphic design would suit her well. Lisa worked freelance for a while after studying graphic design at Edinboro University. After the arrival of her son and twin girls, Lisa decided to devote all her time to raising her children.
When Lisa’s children were all in grade school, she found that she had the time to pursue her creativity. Not quite sure what direction to take with her art, she dabbled in various pursuits, but ultimately returned to what was calling to her. She always preferred drawing people over other subjects, and decided to set about becoming a portrait artist. Through books, DVD’s and workshops, Lisa self-directed her training in portraiture. Lisa has trained with celebrated nationally known artists during intensive workshops.
The first few paintings Lisa did were of her family and friends. One in particular was of a sleeping baby. She had seen her friend post a picture of their sleeping baby, bathed in soft, natural sunlight, and knew she just had to paint her. When Lisa surprised her friends with a painting of their daughter, they just stared at it with tears streaming down their cheeks. It was amazing how art could move people to tears and Lisa realized she could reach people in a meaningful way with her portraiture.
When people wish to have a portrait painted, it is usually to honor someone in their life. They are seeking more than a work of art- a representation of a relationship; a marriage, a devoted pet, a grandchild. Lisa is honored to be able to create art that reaches people emotionally, providing a human connection between the viewer and the subject in a way only art can do. When a client shares how their father cried when they gave him a portrait of his sweet terrier, Lisa can’t help but smile. Good tears are a gift well received.