Thursday, December 5, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Lisa Daria

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Lisa's painting, "1643 Begin" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Lisa's DPW Gallery page:

After 1,000 days of painting every day (including Christmas), I've no intention of stopping. For me, daily painting is a daily appreciation for living via the canvas. I'm a young adult cancer survivor so I have a persistence to make sure every day matters. Daily painting has become a reminder every day can bring with it reason. My optimism and perception have become part of the process of creating each day without reservation or excuse. The finished painting represents a consistently positive and stabilizing presence of my view of my immediate surroundings.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I first started painting 1,653 days ago.

As a young adult cancer survivor, I was looking for a way to journal and document each day without writing. I had always been attracted to artist John Evans' trash postcards. Evans collected trash every day on his way to work for 35 years and made one small postcard a day from those findings - he only missed one day because he was sick.

I decided I would emulate Evans by collecting trash during my daily walk with the dog. But the trash was disgusting (I don't know what I was expecting) and I didn't even make it home with my first day's findings; I couldn't stand touching it. At this time I noticed daily painters online and when the trash collecting failed, I decided to try daily painting as a way to visually record each day.

1643 Begin
(click to see original image)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the home page announcing Lisa's interview.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I have had a lot of starts and stops over the years in painting, including a year as a painting major in undergrad. That year was really hard because I didn't know how to paint! I was also an illustration major, but I avoided wet media because I always ended up with mud. When I graduated from college, Photoshop was just becoming popular and I discovered if I painted with digital media I could achieve clarity with color. Painting digitally allowed me to explore my ideas and work commercially without being frustrated by the media. Also, because digital was so new, the possibilities seemed endless, and still are. But, for me, I still wanted to also paint traditionally because I wanted to have one original.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Oh dear, here goes... I have worked with many different mediums in what I believe to be a search for my one favorite. It turns out, I do not have just one favorite. I started with pen and ink, which was highly detailed and painted with watercolor which was very loose. I have used scratchboard, colored pencil, charcoal, pencil and encaustics. I had a brief time with sculpture, both plaster and welding metal. I've also experimented a little with film, video and photography. As far as paint, I now only use acrylic and oil, but have tried just about everything. Also, pottery. Did I mention wheel throwing (some things should just be forgotten, I think!)? As far as genre, currently, I have two studio practices in which I explore working direct from observation and narrative.

#1038 Forward
(click to see original image)

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

Everything has stuck except welding and encaustics (and wheel throwing, I keep forgetting about that).

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am looking forward to exploring all the ones I haven't tried yet.

Who or what inspires you most?

There are so many things to list, so I'll make some subcategories.

What inspires me the most:
Attending artist talks and lectures are my favorite things to do. Of course, going to museums to revisit permanent collections as well as seeing current exhibits is also a favorite. I enjoy reading anything about other artists, like interviews, statements and criticism. I find fiction writing and films inspiring as well.

Who inspires me the most:
Five artists who inspire me that work with daily ritual as practice: On Kawara, Roman Opalka, Danica Phelps, Emese Benczürn and Ignasi Aballi

Five contemporary artists (not painters) who inspire me:
Miranda July, Cindy Sherman, Martha Rosler, Caleb Cole, Candy Chang

Some contemporary painters who inspire me:
Dana Schutz, Helen Verhoeven, Amy Sillman, Florine Stettheimer, Cecily Brown, Neo Rauch, Peter Doig, Vera Iliatova, Jackie Gendel

1583 All This
(click to see original image)

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination for me equals two walks and one oatmeal scone.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I follow a daily schedule. I allot 5-8 a.m. for my daily painting, then move into the studio working in one hour increments on other work. I take breaks after each one hour session to answer emails, etc. Identifying and removing distractions is the technique that has worked best to ensure I make time for my work.

#1045 Two Jars, One Ledge
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

The idea for the direct from observation work is that I never look too far for something to paint. I respond to my surroundings.

The narrative work is an exploration of a theme, and that theme is what drives the desire to paint every day. I gather a lot of images from every day and art history and repurpose them to tell a story. Discovering contemporary artists who bridge painting and narrative with an illustrative approach has been most interesting lately.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

I avoid burnout by simply keeping in mind, that I must show up for the job.

Attending artist talks and lectures can break a rut as well as looking at film. I also collage found images to expand what I already know.

1121 After but Before
(click to see original image)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I am learning that I work the best with rules.

I have set parameters for the daily painting project, such as using a limited acrylic palette, creating the paintings alla prima and working only from direct observation.

Contrarily, in the narrative work I have rules that are the opposite of the daily painting project. The narrative paintings are both additive and subtractive in process (I often use a sander). Instead of working and completing the painting in only one sitting, they take months to finish. I use oil and do not limit my palette. The paintings includes figures, deep space and are not limited to only direct observation.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Daily ritual as practice and the search for something unexpected.

Thanks, Lisa!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

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