Lisa Sears opens up about her passion "Art".
Was there a pivotal moment that made you follow your path as an artist?
I was studying to be a pharmacist at Purdue University when a speaker came to the school and talked about how he was depressed, getting a divorce, and that a lot of pharmacists become addicted to the medicines they dispense. I decided to switch into something I was passionate about, Art.
What is the process of making your work?
I work on two kinds of art regularly (every night). The first are acrylic paintings that consist of more than one image layered. I never paint any image on its own. There is always something layered on top of it, whether it is another object or a pattern or texture. Usually, the layers are related by content, but sometimes they are a random juxtaposition. The composition is developed on a computer using Photoshop. Once I have a composition that I like, I build a canvas to scale. Using a grid on the image and on the canvas I carefully recreate the image onto the canvas. Inevitably it is different, but the overall composition is very similar.
The second kind of art I make are installations that are inspired by quilts. Usually these are worked on at the end of my nightly painting session. I use the paint that is left on my palette in a way that is quick and imperfect. I either paint it quickly onto canvas squares, or more recently I have been spreading it out on the palette and peeling it up when it is thick enough. Once I peel it I stick it into the inside of a cup. The cups are assembled into a woven pattern. So far my installations focus on pattern and color, a grand scale, and some sort of feminist undertone.
3. Describe your work in two words.
What is your favorite art movement?
DADA! I just can’t get enough Man Ray,Baroness Elsa von Freytag- Loringhovenand Marcel Duchamp. I enjoy looking at art that is absurd.
What is your least favorite art movement?
I honestly can’t think of one.
How has your process changed over time?
In college I dabbled in a variety of media from welding sculpture to oil painting figures, to etching still lifes, to creating epic paper quilts, to ceramics, even woodworking. In my upper level courses for my Drawing major, I started playing around with the idea of visual and metaphorical layers. I created light boxes with three layers of acrylic, each with a slightly different geometric design. I also painted some portraits on canvas with rice paper layered on top that had geometric patterns cut out of it. Once I graduated I focused on teaching art in various k-12 positions and my newborn son. When he was about two I stepped back into the studio with a large canvas, a set of acrylics, and determination and I haven’t stopped since.
What themes do you pursue? And what themes do you want to pursue in the future?
I love to paint historic items. Old maps, ancient sculpture, important figures, and iconic architecture. These themes are vast and offer infinite possibility, so I will continue exploring them for a while.
Do you have any advice for young artists?
Arts Councils are great resources. Just about every large city will have one. There will usually be artist opportunities listed and workshops offered for a variety of things from pricing art to building websites.
Could you talk about the training you receive for becoming an artist? Do you think the training exert a deep influence on your creative activities?
I studied at Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. I received a double major in Art Education and Fine Art with an emphasis in Drawing, as well as a minor in Art History.
Do you think there is a close relationship between your living circumstance and your artworks? If so, how do you think the circumstance influence your works?
Yes, my living circumstances do affect my work. I have a 6 year old son that demands my attention when he is awake. I usually paint at night once he is in bed because of this. I teach art to high school students at Greenfield-Central Public Schools. This affects my work in a lot of ways. I am constantly learning new things about artists and art processes as I develop lessons for my students. I take a group of them to Europe every two years. I always make a painting based on the trip when I get home. Currently, I am working on a painting of the ancient greek statue, the Nike of Samothrace, that I saw in the Louvre in Paris this past June.
How do you know when it is time to completely stop working on one artwork? Are you satisfied with your creation when you leave off it?
I work with a gridded image. I always start in the top left of the painting and slowly work my way to the bottom right. I then sweep back in the other direct perfecting details and colors. I usually stop at this point, although some of the paintings have so many detailed areas that I sweep back a third time. The longest I have worked on one painting was Nova Hydrographicaand that took about a year. I am usually pretty happy with the work when I stop. Once I’ve varnished it, it is time to stop!