I have been using these beautiful oil colors in my recent paintings. Alizarin Crimson, Magenta, Reds and Oranges. Delicious!
The Gathering. This is day one of this painting. I’m excited about the concept and imagery. I’ll post each day as this work progresses. You never know what changes will occur.
Floating Above the Third Dimension
Many of us want to be able to leave our bodies, float to a higher dimension and achieve some kind of spiritual insight. This is the reason for meditation. It leaves the stresses of the body behind and frees the mind to go elsewhere.
I believe those who have experienced trauma, have known the experience of leaving the body behind. Sometimes we need to escape the reality of what is happening. I became adept at doing just this as a child over and over again. The mind is able to save us when the body can’t. Think about your life and remember a time when you floated above the third dimension.
The Old Man’s Hat
In this painting, the female is both adult and child. This seems to be true of many of my paintings. Often, while looking at the face of a child, I have seen someone who can appear older and wiser.
The Old Man’s Hat is about reclaiming lost power in childhood and adulthood. My father wore a hat like this when I was a very young girl. This expression of taking back power is personal to my life, but also personal to the lives of all women. The male costume is merely a symbol. The female in this painting is in touch with and has embraced her own strength.
Singing a New Song
I’m using the frog image as a symbol of nurturing the self. The woman in this painting, is looking towards the frog in order to create a deeper and positive connection with her true self.
This my wonderful furry son, Dexter. He’s a good looking guy and knows it. We can’t go for a walk without someone saying how beautiful he is. Its gone to his head.
The work in progress below is the start of Queen of the Cotton Carnival. The final painting can be seen in the Mask Makers series. This work was created for a group show at Gallery C, Raleigh, NC, titled Southern Discomfort. I lived in Memphis for several years, so this image came to mind. The Memphis Cotton Carnival was a completely bigoted event that thankfully, has now ended. There are several symbols in the final painting of the racism involved.
Queen of the Cotton Carnival is available for purchase at Providence Gallery, Charlotte, NC
I recently began a new series titled, Whose Head Is Under the Hat. The work in progress below is primarily coming together with a palette knife. Creating the central figure and background with this process is proving to be a lot of fun. A whole new set of surprising forms. Hope to have the finished painting posted soon..
I took a little trip back to the Menagerie series with this painting, The Woman’s Magic Hat. More recently, my work has begun with a central figure surrounded by forms and imagery discovered in the brushstrokes. This series begins with my intention of transformative identity, but I have no planned composition. The entire painting is discovered in the brush movement. This process represents the unknown in our lives which effects who we are and become.
The Elephant Frog
A mini story by Lisa Bartell
The Elephant Frog looked towards the sky. “I’m lost”, he screamed to the clouds, the Sun, the Moon and the Stars.
It wasn’t always like this. The day the mirror stared back at him was the day he became confused. Nothing made sense
“Where do I fit in the world? Someone please help me!”
The Elephant Frog wondered who brought him into the world. He had no memory of parents. “Was one a frog and the other an elephant? That doesn’t any sense.”
Even in his sadness, he longed to discover who he was.
He decided to gather pens and pencils and large sheets of blank paper where he wrote day and night about every thought he had. Sometimes he drew little pictures on the paper that told his story better than words. “This drawing makes me feel good”, said the Elephant Frog. “Maybe I’ll add some color.” So he gathered tubes of paint and brushes and canvas and began pouring his soul on to painting after painting after painting.
One day, he kept staring at what he created. “This looks so familiar. Is this me?” Suddenly the wisdom of the Universe swirled through his brain, lighting up what he had thought were empty spaces. Wisdom traveled through his voice as he screamed with joy, “I created myself! I see a dancer on my head and a clown on my toes! These are my friends who love me!” Big tears kept running down his beautiful elephant trunk and his beautiful frog feet. The Elephant Frog had discovered his power and in it found love, truth and contentment.
He had the wisdom of knowing endless creativity in all its shapes and colors.
“The years were merely seconds of time when I was killed by the hands of the shadow in the dark. Yet, I still lived.
“ I became “We.
My body held everyone.
I disappeared, left the scene”
Working out new painting ideas with sketches
The mess I make. And yes, paper towels are a waste. Time for more painting rags.
Looking for Hidden Windows went through a major transformation as you can see in the painting images in progress below. My girl became a rabbit, but they are one and the same. Both are timid and vulnerable, yet full of new life. You can see a small section of her on the right side of the first image in progress.
As a child, I was fascinated with the smallest windows in the turrets of Victorian homes. They seemed like a wonderful place of magic where I could hide and create my own world.
Providence Gallery, Charlotte, NC
“Our Media understanding of a successful professional who makes entertaining objects that sell for a lot of money, is very restrictive. Artists are people who do things with images in order to understand the world. They have a fierce desire to know themselves.” Massimiliano Gioni
Hillsborough Arts Council, NC. Solo Exhibit, 2017