You know when I decided to do a design blog the thought of just writing about my industry, interior design, bored the crap out of me. As a creative, I love all kinds of art and decided to have broader topics encompassing many of the arts. The cool thing about this is I have been submerged into the art world, where I get to meet and interview wonderful artist from all over. All of my social accounts have a mix of designers of interior and fashion, architecture, artisans, a community of creatives in everything I truly dig. Because of this gift, my blog has brought me, I get to connect with these talents. Recently while viewing my facebook stream I came across artwork that reached out and grabbed me. It was a contemporary painting of a woman and I commented on how much I liked it. I continued my scroll and saw another painting and this time I told her I wanted to interview her and today I get to share with you this amazing artist, Lisa Jill Allison.
An Interview with Lisa Jill Allison
Lisa, your work is compiled of layers of brilliant color. Why do you choose to work in these tones?
LJA: The color choices just come naturally to me. Even with difficulties or “darkness” in life, there is a brilliant little spot inside of us that can’t be extinguished. Bright colors are a reflection of that inner spark and surrounding oneself with this brilliance keeps that spark ignited. I am always conscious of how easy it would be to forget the beauty amidst the chaos. I feel very blessed that I was made in such a way that I always look for the bright side.
I love that and I honestly get where you are coming from especially in light of the attacks of hate in Orlando. I am so glad that an artist like you can see the brightness and share it with others. Art creates human emotions and we need more positivity in our world so thank you for your art.
What is your medium of choice?
LJA: I paint predominantly in acrylic with some mixed media pieces as well. Mixed media pieces may contain ink, pumice, gel and anything else interesting I may come across.
That’s the beauty of art, there are no boundaries and most artist/creatives like to keep venturing.
LAND & SEASCAPES
I was perusing your gallery and found a familiarity, under your Land & Seascape category, of Florida which is my home. Are these paintings of Florida or the tropics in general?
LJA: Although I am originally from Connecticut, I am so drawn to the ocean, especially the delightfully warm ocean here. In the summer I get up early and take a quick dip in the ocean before going to the gallery. You ask if the paintings are specifically of Florida. In general, I paint not how something appears, but instead how something feels. The land and seascapes are a mixture of all the happy memories I have of any place in nature that I have experienced. They are moments of memories from here and there. The palm could just as well be an elm and the elm just as well be a Sequoia. Because Florida has been my home for the last 30 years I do tend to have a more tropical subject matter in most of my pieces. My paintings are like pages in my diary. Lots of those pages were created by the ocean in Florida.
I love more than just the ocean in Florida. I love the moist air, the sound of the frogs and insects on a summer evening, the quick changing weather, and I especially love the feeling in my heart that I can still draw up, of visiting Florida as a child. Because so much of me resonates with Florida, she is seen again and again in my work.
What you just said completely resonates with me. I am drawn to all that Florida has to offer and still pinch myself every day when I walk out to my dock to find a manatee there, it is simply magical.
In some of these works, the image, be it a palm tree or a sailboat are almost dreamlike but yet are unmistakable, what is your intention by creating them in that way?
LJA: As far as the dreamlike quality yet with a discernable subject matter, this is how I see life. The experience is real and the setting is secondary. Is that a sailboat going by on the water?? Yes, and more important, how do I feel at that moment?
I love your technique with your plant life art. The botanical art seems to burst from the canvas, does this have anything to do with the actual blooming of a flower or what is your inspiration behind it?
LJA: Thank you for the bursting description :) When I am out and about I am keenly aware of the plant life around me. It sounds silly, but as a child, I considered the trees my friends. I was so upset about the plight of the earth and the lack of seeing on the part of humans. I have a profound respect for nature for its sheer beauty and her role in feeding and sheltering us. I see the life force in plants and this is what comes to the canvas. There is nothing like standing in a grove of trees and just feeling, or in seeing a bud closed tight one day and in all it’s glory the next. The diversity of plant life just brings joy to the heart, hence the bursting :)
Well, your work speaks your truth then.
I love contemporary art and have learned that there is a balance to creating good abstract. A balance of color and shapes. Each of your abstracts brings a feeling, some are playful and some are simply feel good, which for me might be the use of color, being a designer. When you are looking at a blank canvas ready to create one of your abstracts, do you already have a motivation or does it just happen at that moment?
LJA: Funny, I never actually see a blank canvas, as I unwrap the canvas the wheels are already in motion. I see the canvas as the vehicle to carry the thought. As far as the abstracts go, I usually have a thought I wish to share and the process of this thought being expressed is somewhat organic. I choose colors and basic shape placement and then find as the painting moves forward an unexpected addition here or there comes into play. I find doing abstracts uniquely rewarding because one dot here or there can change the whole feel.
Funny, your process is much like my design process.
FEMALE FIGURE AND FANTASY
Your female art is what first grabbed my attention. Let me first say women are beautiful and deserve to be presented in the style you present them in. Talk to me about your choice in this subject matter and why you present it the way that you do?
LJA: The statement you made, “. Let me first say women are beautiful and deserve to be presented in the style you present them in,” was the exact motivation for my first female form, pieces. I had just been to an exhibit in a large city and it seemed to me that all the female form pieces were full of angst, unhappiness, and even violence. I came home and immediately began working on a series of happy, curvy, self-confident women; pieces that showed our beauty in and beneath our skin. From there it went to childlike faces that show our eternal wonderment and charm and then shifted to minimal color pieces that let the emotions of the female experience shine through. I experienced the joy of my 4-year-old grandson seeing a black and white female form piece of a woman holding a child. It was in my display window in my gallery and as he walked by, he stopped in his tracks and said, “Look Mum-Mum, it’s you holding me. ” He was exactly right. It was the feeling of when I first held him. It was also me holding his father before him and our eternal one holding us.
So, now I know why your work reached out and grabbed me, we are very much aligned with our thoughts.
I see child-like and doll-like characteristics with this art, what do you see?
LJA: This is the eternal child in all of us, full of wonder, awkwardness, love and dreams. These pieces are complete when the eyes tell a story. They are especially near and dear to me as each one has a distinct personality. I love lining up any I may have at the moment and seeing them all side by side, a glimpse of the human family :)