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.
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.
I am not sure how many hours went into this piece. It's been breathing in my studio for a while. There are always questions lying somewhere in my subconscious, do I leave out some of my subject, if so, how much? Does it tell the whole story without the whole mushroom? Is it necessary to add color? Is it more powerful black and white? What about the background, add a soil like texture to contrast the smooth lines? Every artist constantly deals with editing questions along the way, knowing that each choice takes them down a different path. Since I don't sketch my art first, I never really know which direction I am going until I know that I have arrived.
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.
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.
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.
In keeping with my pussy willow theme, I thought I would concentrate on their most distinctive element, the catkin. Before male catkins come into full flower, they are covered in fine greyish 'fur', one of the earliest signs of spring. Chinese legend says that the young green shoots sprouting through the puffy white buds signify prosperity. I am only about half way through this single catkin, still debating whether or not to add color. A lot more dimension needs to be added to this 20"x20" piece, but eventually I hope that you will feel as if you can reach out and touch it!
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
The Nature of Design-Pattern-Color
Adding color the original black and white art adds a totally different dimension. Color alters the entire feel of each element.
The Nature of Design-Pattern
Copyright While a bug is different than a rock, their basic patterns are so similar. The repetition of shapes throughout the dragonfly are repeated in the leaves and rock. Shapes, repetition, pattern, line and texture, all fundamental properties of both nature and design.
I have been studying this prehistoric dried Artichoke for several months, finally creating six 8"x8"panels into a multi faceted work of art. You can see that it was no easy task to fit six panels together, nor getting them to appear together after being scanned. Luckily Gemini Moulding did a fabulous job of mounting and framing them into a perfectly cohesive work of art. Thank you Gemini, for being equally as concerned about paying attention to the details as I am!
Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley is a study in contrasts, not just how the tiny white flowers are enveloped by large green leaves, but from a medicinal standpoint. While it contains glycosides that can produce irregular heartbeat and upset stomach, it is also a formidable brain, lymph and heart herb used to create several drugs. Lily of the Valley has proved successful in treating patients recovering from strokes, in soothing nerves, reducing blood pressure, curing headaches and as a remedy for treating burns! I guess that you can say that it lowered my blood pressure, getting lost in the beautiful shapes. I hope that it does the same for you!
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!
Open Magnolias Top Right by Lisa Goesling Copyright
Concentrating on movement and depth has been the driving force behind each of the twelve pieces that make up this new Open Magnolias commission. Not every panel will have color, but you can see how adding a rich brown to the branches adds another dimension to the composition. Only eight more to go!
Almost There Sunflower by Lisa Goesling Copyright
Varieties of the ancient sunflower sound like dinosaur names, Helianthus maximiliani, Helianthus tuberoses, and Tithonia rotunifolia. This one looks prehistoric with it's spiky shapes poking off of the page. I am going to leave it just as it appears giving it a little breathing room.
Pussy Willow/Weed Study by Lisa Goesling Copyright
I have been working on this one for some time. I believe that I presently have about eleven pieces in the works. It keeps each of them fresh and makes me concentrate on a variety of different perspectives. I call this one Puss Willow/Weed Study because I have spent a long time studying the different elements as well as the fact that I am treating this as a study. It may turn into several smaller pieces, perhaps cropped in different compositions. This one is unusually large, 30" x 40". I don't typically work this size because the boards tend to crack from the weight of the clay when they get too big . I think I am going to add just a bit of subtle color and leave some of the shapes simply outlined. I always love your comments, what do you think?
Wine Labels created from Detail of a Grape Leaf by Lisa Goesling Copyright
I was selected to compete with five other artists in creating a design for a wine label using original art. I created this Detail of a Grape Leaf, (see previous post) and won. Cathy Bremer represents the winery and provided me with the necessary input to bring the labels to fruition. Can't wait to see how the larger veins in the art looked embossed and in color. Thanks, Cathy!
1 0f 8 by Lisa Goesling Copyright
My friend Len Upin knows me so well! He saved this dried up artichoke for me from his garden knowing full well that I would fall in love with the details! I am in the process of making eight pieces that fit together to form the whole artichoke. Can't wait for you to take a closer look at the finished piece!
Willow Branches with Color by Lisa Goesling Copyright
I am continually amazed by nature. How silky white 'catkins' and rough gray/brown branches inhabit the same tree. Textures, colors, and shapes...what a perfect subject to draw!