Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Woman and Dog in Provence

Woman and Dog in Provence
acrylic on canvas 11 x 14 inch

It took quite a while to finish this painting.  It is another scene inspired from my recent travels to Europe.  I think the reason it took so long to complete is because each time I worked on it, it was a little bit like getting to revisit southern France.  I am so thankful for the memories of such a beautiful place, I guess I didn't want it to end.

Spring has sprung here in Kansas.  I can often tell not only by the evidence of the blooming flowers and singing birds, but by my color palette when I paint.  I don't paint as much when the weather is nice.  I would rather be outside finding things to do in the yard or just walking along the river in our neighborhood.  Today is sunny, windy and very quiet.  The trees sound a little bit like the ocean.

Off I go to enjoy it.  I hope you are having great weather wherever you live.  Take care.

♥ Lisa

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Arles House 24 and Traveling to Europe

Arles House 24
acrylic on board 6 x 8 inch
While on a double date with our good friends last year, we were invited to join them on a high school group tour to France and Spain.  They have gone on these European trips for several years now, both as parents and chaperones, and they said there was always room for extras in the group and that we should consider joining them this time. We could attend as guests rather than chaperones, and the price would include airfare, hotels, two meals a day and most of the activities.  On the itinerary was PARIS, the LOUVRE, and the PICASSO MUSEUM.  Say no more.  I'm in! My husband was just as excited about the itinerary as I was, so we set up our payment plan and paid on the trip all year, paying it off just before departure day.

Our tour was ten days long and time was spread thinly in Paris, Provence and Barcelona, however we were able to see so much.  The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Versailles, and the Louvre were all covered in 2 1/2 days, mixed in with a bus tour of the city.  Our favorite activity was just being there and walking around taking in the all the beautiful architecture.

Provence was my favorite by far, slower and quieter than Paris,  and this is my little Arles-inspired piece.  It was a tiny house I noticed while walking in the historic area.  Arles is where Van Gogh was hospitalized for a year, producing over 300 paintings and drawings in that period of time.

home in Arles

We also visited the city of Avignon, as well as Pont du Gard and Carrcassone before ending our time in the incredible city of Barcelona.  When we got home, friends and family were eager to hear about our trip, so I spent time combing through pictures to post on Facebook, writing detailed descriptions of all that we saw.  It took a lot of time to do, but it was time well spent because it helped me absorb more of all that we saw on our journey.  I am so inspired now,  not just to paint, but to visit some wonderful museums and towns close to home.  The world is a wonderful beautiful place.

I hope you are well and thank you for visiting!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Room With Rabbits and Hares

Room With Rabbits and Hares
mixed media on panel 6 x 8 inch

In the last post I showed a picture of a small painting in progress that I was working outside on a beautiful day, and this is the finished piece. A long time ago I took photos of rabbits at the Kansas State Fair with the intention of painting them, but never did.  That is until now.  There are rabbits in every decor store you walk into right now and that is what prompted this painting..the fun bunny decor and the memory of all the rabbits at the fair.  Hundreds of them!

 We have had many beautiful days lately, which is wonderful.  The downside is that I don't get a lot of painting done when the weather is nice.  I find it difficult to be still.  Does anyone else have that problem?  

I am also experiencing some form of artist's block.  To combat this, I have been revisiting old paintings as well as some old photographs.  For some reason this helps me resist feeling blah about my block.  I know it happens to every artist, so I am just trying to roll with it. What do you do when you need to get your creativity flowing again?

It has been great to see so many of you on Facebook and Instagram.  If you are new on those sites, please come find me... search for lisagrahamart.  I would love to see you there.

Until next time...

♥ Lisa

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Interiors, Exteriors, and Around Here Lately

Room With Feather Pictures
mixed media on panel 6 x 8 inch

Interiors and exteriors have been my favorite subject to sketch and paint lately.  The interior paintings are a playground for composition and color.  The house paintings have challenged my skill at painting materials such as brick and wood in my usual style.

Brick House
oil on panel

Old Green House
oil on panel 6 x 8 inch

On my daily walks I have been enjoying the quiet of winter.  It is full of fresh air and calmness, with inspiration everywhere.

I also recently flew to Rochester, New York to visit family.  There was snow on the ground, which was exciting because Kansas rarely gets snow.  

I love snow...

 But I also loves days like we had yesterday.  It was 68 degrees in February!  I painted on the patio all afternoon. 

I have been so inspired paint, to photograph and to listen to music.  I will close with sharing THIS surprising, beautiful, and powerful rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence. 

What is inspiring you lately?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

They Have Come to Bring Us Spring

They Have Come to Bring Us Spring
oil on 30 x 24 inch canvas
available here
Hello friends, and Happy New Year!  It has been a while!  A busy life keeps me away from blogging these days.   However, we can connect on Facebook and Instagram if you are there too.  Sometimes I miss the lazy days of blogging and reading blogs, but then life was going at a different pace then.

This painting began last fall and was finished a couple of weeks ago.  Long ago my mother in-law and father in-law happily dropped off this large canvas they had found at a garage sale.  It had a painting of a teddy bear on it with a blue blue background.  They asked if I could use it for my art, and I said of course!  

When finally getting around to painting on it, all I knew was I wanted to paint multiple figures wearing green dresses.  So it began with one figure in the middle-ish area and went forward from there.  There were six women originally, but it looked unbalanced.  Adding the seventh figure on the far right seemed to correct it.

The wooded scene evolved from there becoming obvious to me that the dresses represented the green that was to come on the trees.  
One serendipitous quality of this piece is that the figures and trees sort of glow in a dark room.

Here are some close-ups.  You can see the lines of texture from the underpainting.

Until next time!
♥ Lisa

PS:  I have created a site for The Finding Faith series.  The tab at the top of my blog will link you there.  This will be where you can view all the paintings, photographs and videos in the entire series.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Past People Portraits


Ages ago a sweet woman named Patty gave me oodles and oodles of vintage photos...such a generous gift for this people painting-loving artist.   I have used them many times as inspiration for my paintings and lately I have been experimenting with these small 5 x 5 inch portraits.  

Picking names can be a challenge at times because most of the photos do not have the people's names on them.  For the portraits in this post I have been naming them after several young ballet dancers who were listed in a ballet program for Alice in Wonderland, which took place over the summer at a nearby park.  I pick a name that seems to fit best with the face in the painting.  I am running out of names, so it is probably time to attend another ballet.  







Clara and Miranda
I started a new job that is keeping me pretty busy these days.  Not as much time to paint as I would like, but I do make time.  So until next time!

♥ Lisa

Sunday, October 23, 2016

May The Dress Always Fit You - The 4th Finding Faith Project Complete

When I was out shopping for costumes and props for an earlier work in the Finding Faith Series, I found this wonderful checked dress at a second hand store.  Immediately I envisioned a girl in long braids and bobby socks wearing that dress, so I purchased it and put it away for a few months until I could come up with a use for it in the series.  I had no idea of what the story would be, all I knew was that I wanted to use THAT dress.  After completing the last Finding Faith painting, I took the dress out and hung it in my studio, allowing it to sort of stare back at me over the course of a week or two as I studied it while trying to come up with a story.  I have to say this was the most challenging work so far in the series. Coming up with a mirrored dresser alone was time-consuming. I found a pair of shoes just a couple of hours before the shoot. However, creating a cohesive meaningful story was the hardest part. I knew it would be about childhood memories, but how to tell it was the challenge.  As I worked on the project, writing out thoughts and ideas for the shoot, a deeper meaning evolved.  I started thinking about how important it is to remain youthful in our hearts because when we do this we are happier humans.  We notice the clouds, we watch the bees, we give ourselves the freedom to play and enjoy life, and we have faith in troubled times.  And this is what May The Dress Always Fit You is about.  

I hope you enjoy and may YOUR dress always fit you.


May The Dress Always Fit You


May The Dress Always Fit You
oil on canvas 30 x 24 inch


The beautiful young woman featured in this work is Katie Maher, a good friend of the original Faith in the first three works.  She was wonderful to work with, and being a photographer herself gave a couple of great ideas for the shoot.  She had some challenges's not easy to stare at yourself in a mirror while picture after picture is being taken of you!  I am happy to say she is willing to work in another project, so you will see Katie again at some point.