Sense of Place

Archive, Acrylic on panel, 22 x24 inches

Join us at Waterstone Gallery to explore the many ways artists interpret the idea of place and discover how we connect with our surroundings – be it geographically, spiritually or emotionally. Help us celebrate on Wednesday May 1 and May 2 from 5-8.

Portland Open Studios

October 13, 14, 20, and 21

This October, Portland Open Studios offers the public the opportunity to visit artist’s studios and learn about their materials, creative process and working environment.

Please join me in my North Portland studio where I’ll be talking about my techniques, sharing my sketchbooks and offering specially priced paintings and works on paper.

This year’s pull-out studio guide can be found in the October issue of Portland Monthly as well as in a Portland Open Studios mobile app.

My studio is Number 72 and is located at 219 North Jarrett Street in the Piedmont neighborhood of North Portland. Hope to see you!


P.S. I’ll be raffling off a painting to one lucky visitor, so don’t forget to sign my mailing list on your way out.


Shift #5 ~ Lisa Onstad, 2017
Acrylic on paper, 10 x 12.5 inches


Shift #4 ~ Lisa Onstad, 2017
Acrylic on paper, 10 x 12.5 inches

During my show Earthquake Weather, I’ll be exhibiting Shift, a collection of nine small sketchbook paintings. I started painting in several different sketchbooks last spring as a way to use up leftover paint from my larger paintings. I filled up pages with blocks of color and loose brushstrokes, not giving much thought to color combinations, composition or anything at all really. Freeing my mind from content and expectation, I worked quickly and loosely – something new for me. This shift in my practice allowed me to approach my larger paintings with a fresh mindset.


Nicaragua Study #11 ~ Lisa Onstad, 2017
Acrylic, Flashe, 23 kt gold leaf on panel, 9 x 12 inches

Our 25th Anniversary

Nicaragua Study #9 ~ Lisa Onstad, 2017
Acrylic, Flashe, 23 kt gold leaf on panel, 9 x 12 inches


Waterstone Gallery is celebrating 25th years with an anniversary gala and an exhibition showcasing NW emerging artists as well as new work from our gallery members.  I’ve got four new abstract landscapes hanging in the gallery, including this one – Nicaragua Study #9.

The Lure of the Exotic

Terra Caliente ~ Lisa Onstad, 2016
Acrylic on panel, 24 x 24 inches


January at Waterstone Gallery features the artwork of seven Northwest artists who are inspired by the lure of the exotic. The colorful mix of paintings, mosaics, and carvings in Wish You Were Here: The Lure of the Exotic communicate the spirit of travel and the excitement of the unknown. The term exotic is usually defined as something originating in or characteristic of a distant land but it can also mean strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously unusual. Some of us pursue these glimpses of the exotic in our lives, always curious about people and places that are unfamiliar to us. This exhibition is about the various ways in which seven artists use their own sense of the exotic to inspire their work. Exhibiting artists are Baba Wague Diakite, Kamala Dolphin-Kingsley, Frank Hyder, Mary Josephson, Lisa Onstad, Keaney Rathbun and Adam Sorenson.

A Long Journey

Wanderlust ~ Lisa Onstad, 2016
Acrylic on panel, 40 x 44 inches


Upon selling a large painting from my recent show Blue Fires, I was tasked with the job of trying to figure out how to get the painting to it’s new home in California. Boxing and shipping a 3 x 4 ft painting is expensive! But thanks to family and friends, my painting made it safely to it’s new home in Menlo Park, California. The journey south included a storm-lashed drive through Oregon, a stopover at a sheep farm in Northern California and a transfer from the back of a pickup truck to the roof of a Honda Fit in a San Francisco parking lot. Wanderlust now hangs proudly over the living room mantle in the home of it’s new owners.

Blue Fires

Caldera ~ Lisa Onstad, 2016
Acrylic on panel, 40 x 44 inches


I’m excited to hang my first solo show at Waterstone Gallery, in our new space at 124 NW 9th. The clean white walls will provide the perfect backdrop to my colorful new collection of work –  Blue Fires. These painting were inspired by a trip I took with my family to Nicaragua, where I was mesmerized by a dramatic landscape – full of vibrant colors and patterns.


My artist book, In This Land of Lakes and Volcanoes is included in the exhibition Wanderlust at 23 Sandy Gallery. As always, I was inspired by gallery owner and book artist Laura Russell’s call to artists to explore the theme of wanderlust. Using my recent trip to Nicaragua as inspiration, I explored themes of  passion, longing and connection in this latest work.