The Importance of Play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossing over the threshold into a creative space can be daunting at times – it often takes me an hour or more to really leave the world behind and lose myself in my practice. But if I allow myself to play before tackling a painting in progress, I can enter into a joyful headspace that allows my creative energy to flow more quickly and freely. I begin all of my paintings in play mode – experimenting with collage, drawing with crayons and laying down fields of color. As I connect these random shapes and marks – a narrative slowly begins to emerge and I’m on my way.

The Evolution of a Painting

Phase One – first layers

Phase Two – adding detail

Phase Three – finished painting

Sometimes it’s hard to know when a painting is finished. In phase one of this painting I was in the beginning stages of playing with shapes – and while I really liked the story that was emerging, I felt like it needed more. In phase two I added more shapes, color and collaged elements, but the focal point of the painting got lost in the details. In phase three, I kept some of the visual interest from phase two but toned down the colors to let the story sing – the inner workings of “Henry’s Wind Machine”. My son Henry is a sailor and I often imagine him figuring out different solutions to shift the direction or amount of wind to his liking.

Sitka Center Art Invitational

Pajaro Dunes, Acrylic on panel, 15 x 18 in, 2019
 
Moss Landing, Acrylic on panel, 15 x 18 in, 2019

This past weekend I was honored to support Sitka Center for Art and Ecology by participating in their annual art fundraiser extravaganza. I had the pleasure of teaching there several years ago as well as take a summer workshop – it is a magical place. Nestled in a cove, just south of Neskowin on the Oregon coast, classrooms open onto meadow views with the ocean surf just audible in the background. A truly inspiring place to make art!

A New Home



The Painted Hills, Acrylic on panel, 40″ x 44″, 2018

A big thanks to the Regional Arts and Culture Council Portable Works Project for purchasing my painting, The Painted Hills. It will hang in the new Multnomah County Health Department building.

Preview

 

Little Tremors ~ Lisa Onstad, 2018
Acrylic, 24 kt gold leaf on panel, 12 x 13 inches

Little Tremors, a piece from my new body of work Earthquake Weather is hanging this month at Waterstone Gallery. During the month of June I’ll be exhibiting 21 new paintings at the gallery. These vibrant acrylic paintings were inspired by a trip I took to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument last fall. I was struck by the rich, natural palette of reds, ochres and blues of this majestic and mysterious landscape.

Hello Again!

Onstad_Lisa_floral 3

It’s been over a year since my last blog post…a year filled with art adventures, studio days and new work. I’m hoping to post some catch-up stories, but I have some news that can’t wait! I am very pleased to announce that I have joined Waterstone, an artist run gallery located in Portland’s Pearl District. The gallery has just moved to a larger space and I am looking  forward to painting BIG.