I had no idea that I'd received a Special Recognition Award for my piece, Uprooted 2,through the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition BLACK & WHITE show. But there it was, just waiting for me along with a check in my mailbox. Thank you Alison Hokanson, Assistant Curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art! I am truly honored!
I finished this piece just in time. It is one of eighteen works of art that will be on display at the Union League Club of Chicago during the month of September.
Unfolding measures 36.5" x 15.5" and presented some challenges, as does every creation. I knew that I wanted to add color, but how much color and where? I knew that I wanted to leave some images unfinished to show the process and also wanted to embellish the background.
Every Artist understands the degree of problem solving that occurs when facing a work of art. Since I don't really plan what is going to happen, I am always surprised by the end product. It is a leap of faith and making mistakes is always part of my process. I love making mistakes because they lead me down a path I would never have considered.
Here are a few details of Unfolding, you can see some of my decisions, like making one single flower a deeper black than the others, and choosing to paint the flowers a different color than they actually were, allowing their forms to make a stronger statement.
I hope that you can join us at the opening at the Union League Club's Third Floor Gallery on Thursday, September 7th from 5:30 - 7:00 pm.
My goal is to tell nature’s stories. Fine lines form these delicate buds giving us no indication of what surprises await. Then suddenly we are greeted with a burst of energy of brightly colored petals, some upon closer inspection are filled with every color in the rainbow. These powerful images soon evolve into shriveled up silhouettes complete with their own mysteries. They twist and turn creating a beautiful ending to their compelling story.
I've walked past this incredible tree for twenty-five years. Eastern Cottonwoods have been known to live up to 300 years; who knows how many people have stopped to marvel at this majestic beauty right by the creek, with its deep fissures and subtle colors. I always knew that some day it would become my muse, now is that time. I finally dove in after photographing it from every angle and studying it up close. Capturing the complex structure of the bark with it's multiple layers, sent me on a journey of deep discovery into form and pattern. Bark is one of several pieces that will ultimately make up my birds nest cube 'sculpture'.
Anders Bergesen of Superultraplus Designstudio contacted me a while back asking if I would be interested in having my art on the cover of Colum McCann's novel, TransAtlantic. I am a big fan of Colum's work and was so intrigued by Anders vision to incorporate my art into the story. The end result is that the book cover won a Wooden Pencil/Creative Excellence Award at the D&AD Awards 2015 in London. Anders is such a talented designer, I am so pleased to be a part of his success.
3D Cube /
I love finding little gifts waiting for me outside; they become my muse for a few weeks, or in this case several months! A simple birds nest with a few cracked eggs-instantly consuming my thoughts..."how do I capture this?" After photographing the nest from all angles to make certain I had a good representation of it before it disintegrated; I gathered similar materials from the yard, dried up brush, twigs, leaves and pine needles. For this piece, I am using a 2 sided box that is 20"x20" and 6" deep, one side is a black scratchboard, the other white aqua board. You can see how I treated the black side by using an X-Acto knife to draw layers of dried brush. In addition to capturing the movement and delicacy of the materials, I intend to add smaller paintings and black scratchboards to the surface. I like the idea of providing multiple layers of interest and will repeat this technique on the other side with a mix of photography, paintings, drawings and actual brush.
Book designer Anders Bergesen got my attention when he contacted me about using one of my pieces of art for the cover of New York Times Bestseller,TransAtlantic, by Colum McCann. Colum's work has been translated into 35 languages, this version is Norwegian. I am quite thrilled to have my Inside of an Iris gracing the cover of one of his wonderful novels.
Have you ever noticed how much nature's patterns repeat themselves? I first became truly aware when I was drawing a dragonfly. Not long before, I had completed a black and white scratchboard of a leaf eaten away by bugs. I named it Lacy Leaf because the patterns were so delicate and intricate, just like a fine piece of lace.
When I began to study the dragonfly, it too had a detailed pattern, much like the leaf. I was stunned by how the same seemingly random shapes fit together to form a majestic dragonfly.
Just the other day a friend came across one of my scratchboards of Pussy Willows. Her immediate response was, "they look like fingerprints!"
By this point, I was well aware of designs repeating themselves in birds, insects, plants and flowers. What I hadn't considered was that we share similar patterns with the rest of nature. All I had to do was to take a closer look.
What better way to get a sense of how dramatic my art is than to see it in a residential setting. The clean designs grouped together create an exciting statement and you can't help but to come in for a closer look.
My Art /
Every artist tells a story. I rarely provide a synopsis about my creations. I count on the visual senses of the the people viewing my art to be activated and inspired. Ultimately it is their words that best describe my art.
One Catkin In Bloom
Capturing a single catkin, (the puffy bloom on a pussy willow) right when all of the little buds were exploding was so much fun! I spend a lot of time studying pussy willows. Their fine lines, depth and details are perfect for Scratchbords. Taking a small surface and making a big impression proves that art doesn't have to be huge to be powerful.
Orchid On Steroids
Slowly but surely, this 30"x60" scratchboard is evolving. I am just as surprised as you are watching the detailed lines create living, breathing forms.
Artist to Artist Pussy Willow
I demonstrated my Scratchbord technique on the show Artist to Artist back in November. Concentrating on the details, I drew a small portion of a Pussy willow. I finally had the opportunity to complete the piece and as host Enid Silverman said, "you sure can create a lot of drama with this medium!". http://vimeo.com/65342171
I found so much detail looking deep into this Iris flower, developing a strong sense of movement through the shapes and textures as they wrapped around themselves. The multiple layers ultimately formed an interesting abstract. A background of Black Enamel paint, applied with an irregular pattern, serves as a stark contrast with the fine lines of the flower. This piece was used for the cover of the book, Transatlantic, by New York Times Bestseller, Colum McCann.
Colored - The Nature of Design - Movement
While going through the exploration process of how to add color to this piece, I knew that I wanted to make it appear ethereal. I love how the colors and textures evolved into a completely different entity from their original form.
The Nature of Design - Movement
I have absolutely no idea what this strange dried sea creature, or perhaps seaweed, is. My friend Alex found it on a beach in North Carolina. It is crusty, and twisted and filled with lines that move along a crooked path. The eye travels across the page stopping to embrace each shape, a study of movement unto their own.
Orchid Part One and Two
I decided to take a vertical approach to this piece by taking two separate 11"x14" boards creating one piece of art. Each section of Orchid Part One and Two works separately as well as a unit. I apologize for the loss of detail. I typically scan my work into the computer but these were just a bit too large to scan. That left me with photographing the art which as you can see, isn't my strong point! Lost pretty much all of the detail, but I assure you...it is there! What isn't lost is the movement, the glorious shapes and the range of tones creating depth and beauty throughout. Enjoy!
Copyright: Burst of Energy by Lisa Goesling
That's what it took to create this piece! There were so many little elements interacting with each other, hard to believe I finally completed it!