Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Conversation With Lisa Graham

"Time Won't Stop the Dancer"

Lisa Graham, a self taught artist from Wichita, Kansas, creates artwork that is inspired by family, friends and places of beauty. Graham's creative mediums include acrylic paints, collage, mixed media, pastel, oils, water colors and various types of pencils. Her artwork delights the eye with a sense of whimsical joy. Graham spoke with ArtSeen about her artwork and her inspirations.

Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic background and artistic processes?

There has always been a pull for me to be creative in some fashion, starting with dance when I was a child, then piano and cello in my adult years, but my love for painting occurred just recently in my 40's (believe it or not).  Long story short, I was bored one evening and just felt like drawing for some unknown reason, so I fished out my son's old Crayola colored pencils from the basement and sketched a picture of a chair in our living room.  I think it took me two or three hours to draw it and I was elated with the results.  I felt like I had tapped into a part of my brain that I was unaware of before.  It was an amazing experience.  I drew anything and everything for four months.  Then one cold winter night I was visiting an old friend and she suggested we paint something together.  I was immediately hooked, so I went out the next day and bought paints, brushes and canvases.

I started painting solely with acrylics then dabbled in pastel, water color, oil, different types of pencils, and I am now doing a lot of mixed media using papers, texture mediums and acrylics.  My subjects have been mostly people or scenes from either my own photos or experiences, but most often from my imagination or emotion.  I love to paint cityscapes, nature trails, room scenes, but mostly people and faces.   If I am painting a subject that is decided beforehand,  I usually draw it out with paint or pencil directly onto the canvas and then add the acrylic paint, papers, textures, etc.  If the art is an intuitive I start with a choice color and just start layering colors and paper until I see an image or images appear.  "Biking Dawn in 1971" is an example of that.  Then I just keep layering until it looks finished. 

"Nina The Nest Charmer"

What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?

My inspiration comes from a lot of places:  love for family, friends and the wonder of how human beings relate to each other.  It also comes from my love for music, dance, travel, and nature.  I create art because I simply enjoy making it.  It never feels like work.  Painting is like a great atmosphere to know...that quiet morning on the patio with a book and good cup of coffee...the cozy winter night on the couch in front of the fireplace with the cat on your lap...the perfect candlelight dinner at an elegant restaurant with your matter when, no matter where...I thoroughly enjoy painting.  I get "in the zone" as I've heard so many artists say.

"No Cars Allowed in Brooklyn"

Are there any artists that inspire you? If so who would they be and why?  

There are so many, but I was first inspired by artist Kelly Rae Roberts because she was the first artist I discovered who was a late bloomer in art like me.  I believe she was in her 30's when she started and now it is her career.  Her testimony is inspiring and her art is just so pretty and sweet.  Also Flora Bowley is another artist I really admire...her intuitive paintings are so colorful and serene.   

"Fleeting Thoughts"

What do you want viewers to walk away with when they view your artwork?

I want them to think and reflect more deeply about whatever it is that is happening in their world, whether good or bad.  I want them to become more aware of their own feelings and the feelings of others.  I want people to loosen up and let go of the things they should let go of.  I want them to smile and have joy.  

"The Dutchess Goes for Help on a Segway"
And finally, what advice would you give to other artists? 

I am not sure my measly 2 1/2 years of drawing and painting experience qualifies me to give advice, but to the seasoned artist I would say sometimes change is good, don't be afraid of it.  To the newer artist (like me) I would say, stay loose and don't let yourself get to the point where you take yourself too seriously.  Keep the joy in it!

For more information about Graham and her artwork you can visit her blog and Facebook page for more details. You can also follow her on Twitter for updates on current and upcoming projects.

All images provided by Lisa Graham.


Sandra van Doorn said...

so nice to read about Lisa a bit more; her work is wonderful.

Magic Love Crow said...

Great interview! I love Lisa's art!

Julia Guthrie said...

I love it! What a great interview...I'm new to Lisa's work & think it's amazing!
Good advice aswell...nice one Lisa :)
x said...

It doesn't surprise me to know that Lisa is being recognized. Her work has a freedom of expression with sensitivity to patterns, light and color which appears instinctive and not contrived. She lives a life full of integrity and it comes though in her work.
I really enjoyed this interview. Thank you.

Julie-Ann Lattimer said...

She shares so much freedom in her art, I wish I could do in mine! She's truly gifted!

Unknown said...

I just love reading this interview. So Nice to learn a more about my sweet blog friend..


Lisa Graham said...

I am reading these comments and saying to myself.."wow, I have the most awesome blog friends!" I am so touched.

Thank you for noticing my art Shawn and taking the time to put this together. I mean what I say...your blog is awesome and I know it is going to grow and grow.

Shawn Daniell said...

Thank you so much for all the comments and feedback everyone!

manomij said...

I am a fan of Lisa she is fab!So lovely to hear more about her.

illustration poetry said...

not only her work that i admire but also her personality, she is really reeeeally sweet and kind!

Seriously kind.

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