Small Works for Sale!

During my exhibition Low Tide, I’ll be exhibiting a collection of ten small landscape studies inspired by my travels to Monterey Bay California. I began getting ready for my upcoming December 2019 show at Waterstone Gallery by painting in several different sketchbooks following my trip last spring. I filled pages with blocks of color and loose brushstrokes, not giving much thought to color combinations and composition but at the same time trying to capture the essence of this magical coastline.

Low Tide – December 3-29

Artist Reception – December 4, 5-8

Waterstone Gallery – 124 NW 9th, Portland Oregon

First Layers to Finished

Sometimes it take a few tries to get a painting right and even then I’m not totally convinced it’s finished. But I usually know when to just stop working on a painting, right or not. This new piece, A Strange and Beautiful String of Jewels, went through a few awkward stages and a few sublime stages and here we are. Come see it in my December show Low Tide at Waterstone Gallery.

Low Tide – Solo Show

Whaler’s Cove, acrylic on panel, 15 x 18 in, 2019

In my December 2019 exhibition, Low Tide at Waterstone Gallery, I continue to investigate one’s connection to place and self in my abstract landscape paintings. Inspired by my personal and emotional connection to the turquoise blue coastline of Northern California, I revisit family history in an effort to understand the ebb and flow of memory, migration and the ocean’s tides. The exhibit runs from December 3 – 29.

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!

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.