My Residency through The Studios of Key West by Lisa Goesling

My home for away from home, 607 Ashe St., Key West Florida.  

My home for away from home, 607 Ashe St., Key West Florida.  

I was given this marvelous opportunity to spend a month down in Key West, Florida, USA. Before too much time elapses, I wanted to share some of my favorite experiences with you. 

Not having any real idea of what to expect, I ventured down to the Keys on March 16th. I had heard a lot about Duval Street and all of its craziness so I was anxious to check it out, and what better day than March 17th, St. Patrick's Day. To say it was lively and alcohol induced would be an understatement, however I later learned that it wasn't exclusive to St. Patrick's Day. Bars lined the street from one end of the Island to the other, interspersed with good food, galleries and crazy crowded. Needless to say, the people watching was amazing, especially towards Mallory Square where the cruise ships dock. Every night they'd gathered around to watch a variety of street performers swallow fire, play music, paint and generally entertain the public. It is a terrific place to watch the sunset with hundreds of your closest friends! 

I loved that all I had to do was walk ten minutes away and I was in this peaceful oasis that I called home. The flowers and trees were in bloom and I was constantly bombarded by scents from all of the blossoms on the trees. My backyard was covered in flora making it the perfect destination for a quiet respite. It was where I started my day with a cup of coffee surrounded by new friends and where I ended my day talking about how we spent another day in paradise.

The backyard of 607 Ashe St. 

The backyard of 607 Ashe St. 

My Studio space within my home. 

My Studio space within my home. 

When I wasn't out getting inspired by all of the beauty, I was spending quality time within my studio. It was a fabulous space filled with good light and plenty of room to work on multiple pieces at one time. Admittedly, it was a little rough to be indoors when the beach and all of the interesting places were calling you, but I really needed to create some work for some commissions I'd gotten right before I left town. 

Pretty clear that this would be hard to resist!

Pretty clear that this would be hard to resist!

Taken while on a sunset sail on the America 2. 

Taken while on a sunset sail on the America 2. 

One of my favorite people that I met down in Key West was my friend, Bree Ann. She was a walking encyclopedia of all things Keys and taught me a lot about all of the plant and animal life native (and not so native species) to that area. Bree spent every afternoon at the ocean collecting subjects for both her art, and mine. She is a wonderful artist and enjoys taking found objects and introducing them into her art. Bree Ann sent me home with a large box filled with goodies, it will continue to inspire me for years to come! 

A sample of my collection of Sea Whips, Coral, Sponges and yes, even a Donkey Tooth (towards the front right of the frame) that washed up from another Island that was home to a slaughterhouse! 

A sample of my collection of Sea Whips, Coral, Sponges and yes, even a Donkey Tooth (towards the front right of the frame) that washed up from another Island that was home to a slaughterhouse! 

Part of being an Artist in Residence meant being invited to all sorts of wonderful events. The Studios of Key West housed three galleries within their space, in my estimation it is the best option for viewing quality art on the Island.

The Studio of Key West: 533 Eaton St., Key West, FL USA

The Studio of Key West: 533 Eaton St., Key West, FL USA

The Studios of Key West also has a theatre on the second floor where talented musicians and artists of all kinds perform. I was able to witness some powerful musical performances by Seth Glier and Catie Curtis, both new favorites of mine! Not only were they talented, they were also so darn sweet! Catie stayed in the upper level of my home with her tour manager Christa and I have to say, we had some pretty deep, meaningful conversations during the short time that they graced 'my' home. The night before I left I was able to watch/listen to a magical show, Key West Reverie, that took place at the Key West Garden Club at Fort West Martello Tower on the ocean. Directed by Wendy Taucher, it included guest artists from every discipline, musicians, dancers, singers, poets, and was amazing! Stan Spinola, who played the French Horn beautifully, also stayed with me for a few days. He was so much fun to be around! I wish that he lived next door so that we could catch up every morning. Stan plays the horn for the Miami City Ballet, the Philharmonic Symphonia in Boca Raton and in Austria during his summers. It was such a treat drawing in my studio and listening to Stan practicing upstairs on his horn. 

Inside one of the Galleries within The Studios of Key West. 

Inside one of the Galleries within The Studios of Key West. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the person that made it all possible for me to come down, Erin Stover Sickmen. Thank you Erin! And of course, my partner in crime, fellow artist in residence, Michele Van Maurik from Toronto, Canada. Michele was given the house next door and was filled with the same wonder. We would take two steps and say, oh wow, grab our phones and shoot a flower or a gecko that just passed our path. There was a cemetery down the block from us and we'd walk or ride our bikes and watch the iguanas slink around, popping their heads out of tombs and sneaking back in again. All of the graves are above ground due to sea level and the iguanas have made them their homes. They are prehistoric looking and so unlike anything you'd come across on a city street in Chicago. 

We ate well, our favorite was 'bien', on Eaton and Frances, right nearby our place. People would wait in a long line just to get some of their Cuban/Caribbean food. We overheard one person saying that it would be their last meal, sort of agree! 

There was cast of characters that I met along the way, each one of them touched my heart. Craig Berube-Gray, a former Artist in Residence who moved down with his family to the Keys after his residency. He sculpts these large installations from every day life, like huge popsicles, etc. And Tory, our neighbor on one side, and all of the wonderful young men who lived in the house next door along with their little puppy Ruka and their beautiful cat, Burt Reynolds. Helen Harrison, a fabulous sculptress who lived/worked nearby, creating these stunning pieces all inspired by nature. And last but definitely not least, my friend, Gretchen Mills. Gretchen took my workshop offered by The Studios of Key West. She is a fabulous artist, (was a Marine Biologist at one time) and owns a Yoga Studio in Key West. From the minute that we met you could just tell that we were going to be fast friends. Gretchen is busy teaching her own workshop in India right now for a group of her yoga students. 

I am home now, plugging away on a 20" x 20" Black Scratchboard, Keys Trees. It incorporates a few of the different trees that grow throughout Key West. Here is the inspiration and my work in progress.

I sincerely hope that all of you get the chance to visit this magical place. 

Type of Palm Tree. 

Type of Palm Tree. 

Leaf from tree.

Leaf from tree.

'Hairy' tree. 

'Hairy' tree. 

KeysTrees: work in progress. 

KeysTrees: work in progress. 

Spontaneous Combustion #38 by Lisa Goesling

Spontaneous Combustion #38 by Lisa Goesling

Spontaneous Combustion #38 by Lisa Goesling

After eating grapes, I looked at the vine and thought, the movement of a bare branch is absolutely stunning. So I started to draw the shape of the vine and used the negative space as a jumping off place for the textures and patterns. My new series, Spontaneous Combustion,   incorporates both my love of nature and my love of design. The details force the viewer to come in close. Leaves and flowers abound mixed with all sorts of patterns that intertwine inviting you to keep searching for more surprises. 

Detail of Spontaneous Combustion #8 by Lisa Goesling

Detail of Spontaneous Combustion #8 by Lisa Goesling

Featured Artist: Women and Art written and curated by Beate Minkovski by Lisa Goesling

Lacy Leaf by Lisa Goesling 21" x 19" 2011

Lacy Leaf by Lisa Goesling 21" x 19" 2011

Beate Minkovski contacted me to ask if she can feature me on Women and Art. https://www.facebook.com/womenandart/ The caliber of artist on this page is awe inspiring and of course I said yes. I am honored to be in such good company, thank you Beate!

I created all of the pieces below by drawing with an X-Acto knife into boards made of clay and black ink. (Scratchbords by Ampersand.) When I draw into the layer of ink. the image appears in the clay. If I like, I can paint with colored inks at the end of the process. I do not sketch first nor erase adding to the spontaneous energy created with my art. 

Check out the article at https://www.facebook.com/womenandart/and discover other fabulous artists. 

Basket of Shells by Lisa Goesling 30" x 20" 2010

Basket of Shells by Lisa Goesling 30" x 20" 2010

Eremurus or Foxtail Lily by Lisa Goesling 8" x 8" 2012

Eremurus or Foxtail Lily by Lisa Goesling 8" x 8" 2012

Catkin Study by Lisa Goesling 23 3/4" x 23 3/4" 2013

Catkin Study by Lisa Goesling 23 3/4" x 23 3/4" 2013

Marigold by Lisa Goesling 8" x 8" 2012

Marigold by Lisa Goesling 8" x 8" 2012

Multiple Lilies by Lisa Goesling 41" x 26" 2014

Multiple Lilies by Lisa Goesling 41" x 26" 2014

Uprooted 1 by Lisa Goesling 11" x 14" 2015

Uprooted 1 by Lisa Goesling 11" x 14" 2015

Newest Commission: Protea by Lisa Goesling

Protea by Lisa Goesling

Protea by Lisa Goesling

Collector friends of mine recently returned home from visiting friends in South Africa. They contacted me to create the perfect gift for their hosts based on their favorite flower, a Protea. Etching just enough lines to form structure, texture and movement, and adding color sparingly, the Protea is elevated from a beautiful flower to a beautiful work of art. 

Close-Up of Protea by Lisa Goesling

Close-Up of Protea by Lisa Goesling

DIRECTOR OF ART: NO STOMACH FOR CANCER by Lisa Goesling

It is an honor to involved in No Stomach For Cancer's upcoming Silent Art Auction. Having family directly touched by Stomach Cancer, I am happy to raise awareness and funds to help eradicate this cancer once and for all. We have 52 pieces of art donated by artists from across the country that will be on display as of Wednesday, October 26th, at the Pop Up Gallery at The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee, WI. The actual auction takes place Saturday evening, November 12th, from 6:30-9:30. However, you can visit the exhibition the entire month of November and continue to bid on any art that hasn't sold through 32 auctions at https://www.32auctions.com. Here is a sample of the artists who generously donated their art...

It is an honor to involved in No Stomach For Cancer's upcoming Silent Art Auction. Having family directly touched by Stomach Cancer, I am happy to raise awareness and funds to help eradicate this cancer once and for all. We have 52 pieces of art donated by artists from across the country that will be on display as of Wednesday, October 26th, at the Pop Up Gallery at The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee, WI. The actual auction takes place Saturday evening, November 12th, from 6:30-9:30. However, you can visit the exhibition the entire month of November and continue to bid on any art that hasn't sold through 32 auctions at https://www.32auctions.com. Here is a sample of the artists who generously donated their art...

BioArtAlexLee_yellowline.jpg
BioArtEmilyRutledge.jpg
BioArtJohnZajac.jpg
BioArtMaryPorterfield_ForbiddenFruit.jpg

HUMAN NATURE: Lisa Goesling and Len Upin by Lisa Goesling

Finally able to show my art with long time friend, Len Upin, what a treat! Our work compliments each other so well, both creating images that are powerful when you stand back, yet even more so when you come in close.  The humble lines creates energy from piece to piece as does the juxtaposition of Len's larger pieces to my smaller ones. 

The Kavanagh Gallery

The Kavanagh Gallery

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Captivating Art: LISA GOESLING-written by Renee LaVerne Rose by Lisa Goesling

Finished Draft by Lisa Goesling

Finished Draft by Lisa Goesling

 http://emagazine.acs-mag.com/acs-magazine-septemb…/…/228-229

For those of you who haven't heard of Renee LaVerne Rose, it won't be long before she becomes a household word. Renee is a powerful supporter of artists worldwide, Director of ACS Gallery, Chicago, and Founder, Publisher, and Editor-In-Chief at ACS Magazine. Her ability to understand what drives an artist comes from her passion for creating her own art. Renee's generous spirit is what led her to interviewing me for ACS Magazine's September/October issue. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks, Renee!

Moving On-Completed by Lisa Goesling

Moving on by Lisa Goesling

Moving on by Lisa Goesling

Detail of Moving On by Lisa Goesling

Detail of Moving On by Lisa Goesling

Another Detail of Moving On by Lisa Goesling

Another Detail of Moving On by Lisa Goesling

My mark making took me on a journey from creating what I thought would be a vertical piece, to one that worked best horizontally. The only thing I planned was to use both found objects and abstract designs...from there I just trusted what would happen as I dragged my X-ACTO knife across the board. From a composition standpoint, I wanted to keep the eye moving yet invite the viewer to stop when landing on something interesting. Subtle textures support the bolder shapes as they glide across the page. The hint of a dragonfly's wings, circular shapes forming a wasps nest on the lower right, even little people that I love to draw, hidden in the gap above the shell like structure on the left. I enjoy completing a piece that looks well thought out even though I simply allowed it be flow. 

MOVING ON by Lisa Goesling by Lisa Goesling

Upcoming Artist Talk/Workshop at Zhou B Art Center

When I first began working with Scratchboards I used to concentrate primarily on images from nature. Lately abstract imagery has become my focus. Moving On is a combination of my fascination with natures' intricate designs and my love of repeating patterns to develop complex structures. Drawing with an X-ACTO knife into boards made of clay and ink enables me to create stark contrast and movement. I am doing a demonstration/workshop today, Wednesday, July 6th at Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, from 6:30-7:00 pm. I don't plan my art so I'll be just as surprised as you watching this piece evolve before our eyes.

(Some of my inspiration: wasp nest, bottom left and leaf eaten away by insects, top right.) 

14"x35" 

LEXICON by Lisa Goesling

Spontaneous Combustion 1,2,3 by Lisa Goesling on display at LEXICON, Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL 

Spontaneous Combustion 1,2,3 by Lisa Goesling on display at LEXICON, Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL 

Some comments written by visitors to LEXICON at Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL about Spontaneous Combustion 1,2,3,. 

Some comments written by visitors to LEXICON at Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL about Spontaneous Combustion 1,2,3,. 

None of the 46 artists included in LEXICON, me being one of them, gave any information on our art to the folks who visited our exhibition. For a twist, they used Post It Notes to give their perspective on what was going on with our art. Some of the comments were really insightful, some were just plain fun. Jenny Lam, curator of the exhibition, created a wonderful environment for the artists to express themselves by participating in the show, and for people viewing the art to interact directly with each piece. You can view the show through Saturday, July 9th at Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W. 35th St., 2nd floor, Chicago, IL. 

same difference: Art NXT Level/33 Contemporary Gallery Opening by Lisa Goesling

Lisa Goesling and Sergio Gomez

Lisa Goesling and Sergio Gomez

Hope you enjoy viewing the pics from my solo exhibition, same difference, at Art NXT Level/33 Contemporary. The space was perfect for my art and folks really enjoyed 'playing' with scratchboards as they strolled through the gallery. (Courtesy of Ampersand Art Supply-thank you!)

The best part about being able to show with Sergio Gomez, besides the fact that he is so easy going and a visionary, is that I was able to show a full range of what I do. 

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling 

same difference by Lisa Goesling 

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Spontaneous Combustion 1,2,3

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Spontaneous Combustion 1,2,3

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Spontaneous Combustion series in progress. 

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Spontaneous Combustion series in progress. 

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Multiple Lilies 

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Multiple Lilies 

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Out With a Bang

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Out With a Bang

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Clearly Interacting series

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Clearly Interacting series

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Interaction

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Interaction

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Detail of Interaction

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Detail of Interaction

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Birds Nest

same difference by Lisa Goesling: Birds Nest

 

 

Work in Progress and Upcoming Exhibition by Lisa Goesling

My upcoming solo exhibition at Art NXT Level/33 Contemporary from April 15-May 13 includes three different studies of how I approach line. I am presently working on a series called Spontaneous Combustion. The image at the top is an example on how layering organic lines across a page can actually make the image inhale and exhale. Part of the forty pieces within the show are from my Environmental Movement series, (image on left), which is heavily inspired by Eco-Psychology, the study of emotional connections between individuals and nature. Lastly, Interaction, (image on right), is composed of tightly rendered characters layered on top of each other. At first glance you can't see that they are people interacting, but upon closer inspection, their personalities begin to emerge. All of my art concentrates on line and its ability to draw you in. 

Out With A Bang by Lisa Goesling

'Out With a Bang' captures the spontaneity of my line making as I simply face a black board and begin to draw. The patterns covering the background have a pulsating rhythm that pushes the larger white images right off of the surface. Everything was drawn with an X-ACTO knife into a hard board covered in a layer of clay and India ink, (Ampersand Scratchboard). The very last step was to paint with colored inks over the detailed abstract designs.

The Makings of a Bird's Nest by Lisa Goesling

Bird's Nest by Lisa Goesling

Bird's Nest by Lisa Goesling

After coming upon a fully intact birds nest outside of our home, I marveled at how such a tiny creature can create something so complex? I searched around for similar materials and the idea of deconstructing a bird's nest was born. I thoroughly enjoy pushing the boundaries of any medium to discover what happens, so I added elements like natural materials, a small painting on canvas and drawings throughout the scratchboard surface. I am constantly thinking about the hierarchy of layers, in this case I covered the background with subtle black lines drawn with an X-ACTO knife and filled in with black ink. As I began to build this piece, I imagined the viewer looking down into it, just like I had done when first discovering the bird's nest. The entire scratchboard forms the top of a 32" high pedestal which is 22"x22" around. 

SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION by Lisa Goesling

Spontaneous Combustion 1 by Lisa Goesling

Spontaneous Combustion 1 by Lisa Goesling

Spontaneous Combustion 2 by Lisa Goesling

Spontaneous Combustion 2 by Lisa Goesling

Spontaneous Combustion 3 by Lisa Goesling

Spontaneous Combustion 3 by Lisa Goesling

My new series, Spontaneous Combustion, is a journey into Lyrical Expressionism. I am discovering all sorts of new things about both me and my medium, Scratchboard. Every time I make a mark it leads to another mark. And while I don't plan any of my art, at least I have a basic idea of what the form of a flower looks like. In this instance, it is a complete leap of faith. Layers of shapes and patterns spill across the boards creating a rhythm that appears to inhale and exhale. 

The End of the Story by Lisa Goesling

Orchid Bud by Lisa Goesling

Orchid Bud by Lisa Goesling

This single Orchid Bud, no larger than a dime, really intrigued me. There was nothing particularly grand about it when viewed through the naked eye, but once I placed my magnifying glass between my eye and this bud, something truly unexpected occurred. An undulating structure, more brain-like than flower appeared, filled with an array of colors that weren't there a minute ago.

After hours of capturing the twisted layers that formed this tiny bud, I finally had it framed and put on display. 

Normally that would have been the end of it. But not in this case, in this case I knew that there was more to the story. 

Back to the drawing board, I introduced the evolution of an orchid, contrasting the buds tight shapes with the suggestion of a fully realized flower. 

Uprooted by Lisa Goesling

Uprooted by Lisa Goesling

Uprooted by Lisa Goesling

It's fascinating to me that roots hidden deep below the surface of the Earth can mimic what rises above them. 

Complicated systems of 'branches' weaving in and out, soil still clinging to their armature even though the roots were removed from the ground weeks ago. The only thing that has shown signs of passing are the leaves, still attached but twisted into something very different from their previous incarnation.