Posts from the ‘new work’ category

Imaginary friends

One of the series I am working on in my studio is imaginary friends. There are lots of sketches but not many finished pieces just yet but today I did complete another one. It’s called finger trap and yet again, another creature was abandoned with no one to play with…

bunny friend with finger trap

No fingers and no friend who conjured him….wonder what this little bun will do to occupy his time. Maybe if enough imaginary friends get together they can have a party….or something. We’ll see.

You might remember this other little friend:

abandoned imaginary friend I

 

This little is Abandoned Imaginary Friend I and this piece was part of the Small Works Show at the 440 Gallery in Brooklyn, NY in December and January. I also created limited edition prints for the Holland Project’s Holland Editions.

440 gallery small works show

 

I’ve been having some fun with these little beans….you’ll be seeing many more in the future. I’m excited to see how their adventures will unfold.

Broken Hearts Collide Show

ghosts connected to heart

 

For the month of February this piece is hanging in the Broken Hearts Collide group show at the NeverEnder Gallery in Reno. It’s a good show with some really strong work – you should all go check it out while you can! Art shows are typically free to see and opening and closing receptions are as well; it’s a great way to spend an evening, meet some new people in your community, and view and maybe even purchase some local art. All the pieces at the Broken Hearts Collide show are for sale- including mine- consider supporting your local artists! 🙂

buffalo + cetus: the first process post

One of my goals this year is to share my process even more and give people a better idea of my process and how I put a piece together. Anyone who makes anything is in a constant process of learning and it helps to share with each other how to do things.

I did go to art school (yay MassArt!) which I think really helped me focus and immerse myself in making art for four years- I wish I could do that again! But you don’t have to go to art school to make art or be an artist. Sometimes I miss the critiques and peer review that art school provides.

In general though, I have always learned a lot just by looking at art and I don’t mean a quick glance in a book, online, or in a museum. Those are all great resources but by looking I mean studying a piece I admire- staring it down and taking in all the little nuances that make it what you see before you. I’ve also learned a lot by experimenting and watching others make things. In the spirit of all that, I give you my first full process post. This is a sort of step by step of my latest painting and how I got from point A to B. I hope you like it!

I usually paint on canvas or wood panels- in this case I used a wood panel. I start with prepping the surface- sanding, laying layers of gesso, and laying down layers of collage. Once the surface is completely dry I draw in the composition with a pencil.

do the work

The next part is to start the underpainting. I always do an underpainting – usually with a single color to start and then build layers from there. I use acrylic paint and the way I paint, the layers are really important to build up.step 2

As I work on the underpainting, I block in some color after a while- this is kind of the ugly stage and keeps getting more ugly until the layer build up enough to start looking good again.

step 3

Next, I start to focus on some of the details, I don’t like to wait too long because I know these will need layers too and if I fear part of the piece- that’s the part I want to tackle next. There is always at least one point in creating a new work where I sincerely think it may not work out and each time I push through and fight and discover that it does work out- and the world has not ended. I always learn something as I go through that as well.

step 4

At this point I keep adding layers and building the piece up. I go back and forth between detail work and the larger chunks. I try to move around the canvas- working all of it up together as much as I can so that there won’t be any piece that stands out as not belonging. If I focus too much on one section and don’t step back and work the whole piece- I could be off with colors, drawing, or any element that connects the elements together that make up the whole painting.

step 5

Here is a detail of the buffalo closer up. To get the hair to look soft, it was building many layers of various colors up and using a couple of different brushes (some larger) to apply the different sections of paint. For really fine details I use a very small brush- I think it’s a 0/3. I also made sure to get the background right before delving into the buffalo- since he’s in front and I wanted him to be soft- it was important to get that background looking the way I wanted and then parts of the buffalo- particularly the edges with paint over the background.

step 6

Here is the finished piece- it really is a matter of patient layering, letting layers dry, layering more, adding details, looking close and stepping back now and then. Often when I think I’m done or close to done, I’ll stop for the night and sleep on it and then look at it the next day. Many times that break away from the painting (and I will do everything to avoid looking at it for several hours) you come back with a little bit of a refreshed eye and can catch things I might have missed or something that still needs some problem solving.

buffalo + cetus

I hope this gives some insight into how I paint. There are many ways to paint- especially with acrylics- the best advice I can give is to play, watch some tutorials or get some books on technique and you’ll be surprised how much you learn. Even after many years- I feel like there is always more for me to learn and try.

Hello 2014!

do the work

Happy New Year everyone! I’m motivated for this year to be BIG…bigger than 2013 with a huge focus on making a lot of new art and as you can see above I have wasted no time in getting started on my latest painting. With that, there will be some changes for sure and I’m still working out what that means in terms of priorities. I’m still planning on writing regularly here and sharing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. So follow along with me in those places if you don’t already.

One thing I’m changing here is the weekly sketches. I’ll still be sketching pretty often and making art every day and every week but scanning, editing, and posting the sketch weekly disrupted me a couple times from concentrating on the art I was working on and that is what I love best. For me, art needs concentration, diligence, and momentum. My favorite thing is to let go and lose myself in the work. So- you’ll definitely see a lot more art here but the hope is it’ll be a little more organic and closer to what I really do when I make art. I have several projects in the works that I’ll be sharing including a glimpse into my art process- I’m very excited to share that. I also have a number of events and news to share coming up. So stay tuned and welcome new year- I am so excited for all the possibilities!

The Biggest Little Art Show, Icons of Nevada

Sarah Winnemucca

I’ll be participating in the upcoming Biggest Little Art Show, “Icons of Nevada”. The opening reception on Thursday December 5th from 5-7pm is a free fundraising event. It’s a tiny works group show – all pieces are sized 2.25″ x 3.25″- the size of a playing card; all work will be for sale and 50% goes right to Sierra Arts.

My piece is titled, Sarah, and the subject is Sarah Winnemucca; she was a Paiute princess and an activist. She was somewhat controversial but nonetheless an incredibly interesting person. Come see my tiny painting in person- it really is just 2.25″ x 3.25″- hard to believe until you see it. 😉

There will be some really great art to see along with some tasty food from Wild River Grille. I hope to see some familiar faces for a fun night and a good cause!

ETA: There is a really lovely write-up of the event here: http://thisisreno.com/2013/11/biggest-icons-nv-little-canvas/

Latest pieces at Noble Pie

buffalo + cetus

This month, I have three new pieces in the group show, Sensory Impressions. The show will be hanging at Noble Pie Parlor through the month of November so check it out and get one of their Thanksgiving calzones (so. so. good.). Each piece is a 5″x 7″ graphite drawing on 11″x14″ archival paper. All three pieces are part of my ghost series that I’ve been working on. The above piece is called buffalo + cetus. Each piece represents a story of childhood.

elephant + ursa minor

The piece above is titled elephant + ursa minor. The animals in each work represent a ghost and each also relates in some way to the constellation within the piece.

moth + lepus

This last one is titled moth + lepus. I don’t like to give too much away in terms of the stories wound into each work because I feel like it tells the viewer what to think, instead of what to imagine. So I’ll keep a bit of mystery to these for now.

The originals are for sale at $100 each, so let me know if you are interested in purchasing. (lisapisa77[at]gmail.com

Enjoy!

 

Sketchbook: week 5 and news!

I have some great news to share this week! Because of all of your votes, I made it to the top 5 for RAW Artist of the Year in Reno! Thank you everyone for supporting me and nominating me.

Thanks also to those who keep ordering prints in the store. I do have some new prints in my shop. If you haven’t yet seen, I’ve added 3 new prints from the ghosts series I’ve been working on. Stay tuned for more on that- I have a lot more work to come.

There is a group show at Noble Pie Pizza coming up November 7th, so if you’re in the Reno area, please come by for pizza, beer, and art- should be a fun time!

I have a number of other great projects in the works, including a commission, a couple gallery proposals, continuing my ghost series, starting two new series/bodies of work, and a few secret projects up my sleeves. I wish I could get myself to paint and draw even faster as I have so much I want to share with all of you.

Here is my latest sketch for this week. I haven’t drawn a narwhal in a little while and this one has a little twist!

narwhal boy

 

Imagine swimming peacefully only to come up to this creature in the deep! Don’t worry though…he’s friendly and just a little curious.

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ghost series: heartstrings II

A little while back I wrote about my latest work being focused on ghosts and exploring what a ghost might represent. I’ve just completed my latest painting called Heart Strings II:

heart strings ghosts

 

This one was a bit more personal and pushed me as an artist in some new ways- conceptually and technically. As I thought about the past and childhood, I thought about when I was young and how I imagined who I was at that moment and how this perception of who I saw myself as has changed over time- probably dozens and dozens of times. Here is a close up of part of the painting:

girl

 

I don’t think we entirely let go of these perceived selves and I thought about how much a part of me these versions of me have been and still are- good and bad. I’m really enjoying this direction and kind of just going with it. Trilobites have slowly made their way into my work as well – I’m fascinated by these creatures and their shapes. In it’s own way it too is a ghost from the past…

ghost series

So I’ve been working on another series- for the last few years I’ve been exploring the idea of ghosts and the possibilities they may represent. It seems that I keep getting lured back into drawing ghosts in different ways and drawing them is so appealing that I never get tired of it- in fact, I just get more pulled into drawing them.

girl and ghosts

And a disclosure…I didn’t mean to do this series near Halloween and in fact I began painting this series during the summer without Halloween on the brain at all. Maybe it’s fitting I release the first paintings in the fall but certainly these ghosts are a bit different than the Halloween kind!

ghosts with heart strings

Ghosts are symbolic of the past, memory, perhaps unfulfilled lives, hauntings, melancholy, a representation of what once was, nature/unnatural, sadness, growth, the unexplained, among many other things. There is something I love about mystery and all things unexplained; you’ll see that crop up in my work in a variety of ways. These are the things swirling in my head these days and so you have my latest series of paintings, ghosts. These two paintings are the start of this series; there are prints of these two available on my shop with more to come soon. I have another ghost painting in process and we’ll see where this takes me. This is just one part of my ghost exploration- sometimes the ghosts take different shapes and forms but this is where I am at the moment.

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