Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Gigi in Her Studio and Meeting Gigi

Gigi in Her Studio
oil on birch panel 12 x 16 inch
Gigi Mills is an artist whose work touches my soul.  I first saw her art in an artist magazine years ago, a very small image in the back of the magazine advertising an upcoming solo exhibition.  I don't remember what the image was, but I do remember immediately searching for more images online.  Locating her facebook, I was thrilled when she accepted my friend request so that I could further follow her work.

Fast forward a few years to last year, I saw that Gigi had a solo show in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I missed the opening, but I was elated when I realized that Santa Fe was only 5 hours away from our new residence in Colorado.   Santa Fe was a place I was wanting to visit and seeing Gigi's work in person was the motivation I needed to make that road trip happen sooner than later.  

I messaged Gigi via Facebook to ask her if the show would indeed still be up during the weekend I planned to arrive and to my surprise, she graciously invited me to stop by her studio if I ended up coming to Santa Fe.  I was so excited and touched and of course took her up on the offer to meet her and see her studio.

Her exhibit was called Bird, in honor of her beautiful dog that she lost in 2017.  Her grief was so present in every painting and sculpture and it moved me to tears.  It was truly a special thing for me to not only see Gigi's work in person, but to see this work that was so personal to the artist.  After my stop at GF Contemporary Art Gallery I could not wait to meet Gigi.

Gigi Mills
Bird exhibition at GF Contemporary 2018
Santa Fe, NM
I made my way to her studio and what a delight it was to talk with her and see her studio.  She was gracious and kind and open.  She was interesting and interested about my own journey as an artist and encouraged me greatly.  I came away from our visit feeling SO inspired.  I did a little sketch of her with the intention of painting her one day and here it is one year later.  

I wish I could write more elegantly about my experience that day, but all I can say is that after meeting Gigi, it was easy to see why I saw so much soul and depth in her work.  She is a beautiful soul herself and I will treasure the day I met her forever.

Thank you dear Gigi for letting me paint my memory of you in your studio and for sharing your heart with us via your work.  This world is a better place because of you and your art.  

Monday, October 14, 2019

Absorption in Variation

Absorption in Variation
oil on birch panel 12 x 16
 I have been doing small works on paper lately, but every now and then I feel the need to paint larger.  I can add so much more detail on a surface that is 9 x 12 inch or larger and over time I have learned that those little details are what I love most about painting.  Those little surprises added for the viewer are like hiding easter eggs at an easter egg hunt.  There was a time when I loved painting faces the most, but lately I have been more interested in adding less detail there and more in the surroundings, unless I am working on a portrait.



This scene is almost autobiographical.  My husband and I do position ourselves in these spots on the couch and our dog Hurley is usually asking for my attention (and getting it).  Vic never reads a newspaper (does anyone?), he is more of an internet reader, and am usually reading a book rather than staring off into space.  Though I DO do that from time to time! 

This room composition is based on a sketch of my living room.  Most of the furnishings and decor are added.  I do not own a fish lamp, but after painting this I would not mind having one!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Mirror, Colorado and an Official Website!

mixed media on wood 12 x 16 inch

Hello, hello and hello.  It's been too long!  I post regularly on Instagram and Facebook, but my blog has been on the backburner this past summer.  We have stayed busy with lots of  hiking and fun events in Denver and Colorado Springs.  I have been reading a lot too, which is nice.  For the longest time, I could not focus.  Now that we have been in Colorado well over a year, I feel more like myself.  I have been painting quite a lot and this is a recent one.  I wanted to try painting a reflection, so this is me modeling for it.  I bought some birch panels and it has been nice to paint on them again.  I used to use them more, but got away from it.

Vic and I went on an eight mile hike a couple of weekends ago in Rocky Mountain National Park.  We saw a lot of Elk and they were really on the move.  There were several males and even more females.  The males were making their bugal calls which was a real treat to hear.  They are so beautiful.  

On our hike we saw it all...views, aspens, waterfall, it was the best hike we have been on since living here.

Exciting news!!!  I officially have a website!  My dear husband spent hours and hours building it for me and I could not be more happy with it!  Please have a look and tell me what you think!  He was able to put all my social media links, Etsy and connect this blog to it.  He did an amazing job and I am so happy and proud to be a ".com" now!  

You can see the website HERE .

I have been doing a lot of sketching.  The vintage photos a friend gifted me years ago have been put to good use for some of these sketches and paintings.

Elizabeth Le Poidevin
oil on paper 5 x 7 inch
available here

I also have been really enjoying a new book on Hammershoi.  I had never heard of him before, but learned a lot one day when I stumbled onto Michael Palin's documentary on him.  His very controlled palette and quiet atmospheres really appeals to me.

Hammershoi's Girls and a Table
oil on paper 5 x 7 inch
I painted this little piece based on his painting "Figures by a Window" c. 1895, adding my own touches.  I think I will revisit his book again soon.  I really love this quiet palette so much.

That's all I have for now.

Take care.

♥ Lisa

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Dancing Families and Colorado Summers

Festival at the Farm
mixed media on paper 12 x 9 inch
available here
 My husband Vic and I have this saying that we say nearly every morning to each other and that is..."it's another ridiculously gorgeous day in Colorado!"

It is the truth...sunshine nearly every day.  The mornings are filled with sweet mountain air.  It is hard to be in a bad mood here.

photo by Lisa Graham

We recently went to the Lilac Festival near Denver and there was this sweet family dancing barefoot in the grass to the bluegrass band that was playing.  I did what many artists do and made a strong mental note of that image then went home to paint it.  

The band was SO second time to see them.  We sat for two hours just listening to them and people watching.  You can see the band's site

Along with family and friend visits, hikes, and lots of reading, I have been learning to play guitar this summer.  Not an easy task for this middle age woman, but I love that I am learning something new.  It is good for the mind!

Hurley is enjoying his summer too.

And I hope you are as well!  Until next time!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Musical Bluely

Musical Bluely
oil on paper 9 x 12 inch
available here
A couple of months ago I started guitar lessons and that is what inspired this. I suppose I painted a piano because I feel much more comfortable with it even though I have not played for quite some time. Music has always been a huge part of my life and it is a blessing to be part of a musical family.  My dad and siblings were musical, my in-laws are musical, and my son is now a piano teacher running his own music studio and gives my grandson piano lessons.  Kind of neat!  

This painting is available in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Men in Paintings

Fahreinheit's Books
oil on canvas panel 9 x 12 inch
I do not paint men in my paintings very often, but I do enjoy it whenever I do.  So different from the female figures.  These two paintings are inspired by people I have seen while out and about.  One man was at a used bookstore that I went to with my daughter in-law, and the other was seen while passing by on an evening walk.  

Evening at the Office
oil on canvas panel 9 x 12 inch
available here

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Spare Bedroom, Shower Dog and Morning Pancakes

Spare Bedroom
oil on canvas 20 x 24 inch

I am painting a lot these days.  I am a little bit behind on posting my paintings here.   I do post regularly on my Facebook page and especially Instagram, so please find me there.

Shower Dog
oil on paper 9 x 12 inch
available here

Morning Pancakes
oil on canvas 12 x 16 inch