“Painting has always been a very comforting process for me”
Could you tell us a little bit about your creative process?
My process involves working on up to 30 paintings at one time, layering them individually with washes, wax, organic materials and fabrics.
I do this so I always have something fresh to work on, and this keeps me constantly engaged seeing paintings at all different stages around me.
Texture and fabric are key features of my paintings and the surface I create has become a recognizable quality of my work.
My approach is very spontaneous and my paintings always turn out completely different from their starting point. With my landscapes I try and re-create the feeling I experienced rather than an exact replica of what I see before me. My own interpretation of a place is much more interesting for me to produce and for my audience to view.
When a painting isn’t working, I turn it to face the wall for a while so I can focus on pieces which are. Then I bring it back at a later stage after learning on the other paintings. I like to live with the paintings for a while to get a feel if they are finished or not. This can also have the opposite effect, when I realise, I have overworked a painting and I should have left it well alone days ago….
What the biggest hurdle you have had to overcome?
Serious illness during my 20s and recently in my late 40s.
Painting has always been a very comforting process for me and creativity can never be under estimated in aiding recovery whether it is a physical illness, disability or a mental health matter.
For me, painting is a form of escapism. It focusses the mind and takes you to different places that can help overcome many problems in life.
Do you have any creative regrets?
I don’t tend to have creative regrets as I’ve always followed my passion and made decisions which are right for me. I love what I do and so I make time to focus my energy in achieving the best results in any situation.
“At the moment, I am experiencing some wonderful images through the practice of meditation”
What are your main creative inspirations?
Serene landscapes in peaceful locations! Colour, texture, pattern and fabric I see everywhere, every day.
My still life pieces are also inspired by nature. I like to incorporate flowers, birds and animals with inanimate objects, such as vases, tea cups, tables etc.-
Bringing nature indoors and creating an emotional interaction between them.
Which artists have most inspired you?
Claude Monet has been a big inspiration for my interest in colour, since focusing my dissertation on colour theory during my degree course.
I really admire the Impressionist painters for their technique to depict atmosphere, and understanding of juxtaposing colours.
I practice this with my own work and colour has been a lifelong obsession for me.
My motivation is to evoke a feeling for the viewer and colour is my favourite tool to create this.
I also love the work by Austrian Surrealist artist, Christian Schloe.
His imaginative and bizarre imagery really grabs my attention. My favourite piece by him is ‘Fly me to Paris’ which I have on my mantle piece at home. It’s so enchanting and reminds me of flying dreams.
What is exciting you right now?
At the moment, I am experiencing some wonderful images through the practice of meditation. This is a fascinating experience for me which is gradually inspiring new paintings. Images I wouldn’t consciously paint, such as peacocks, owls, angels, deer, eagles etc.- This new direction is so unexpected and magical so my aim is to portray this in a new collection of paintings.
Do you have any advice for artists that are struggling to find creative success?
Perseverance does pay off. Every artist has setbacks, obstacles, creative blocks at some point and these can be a good learning curve and do pass eventually. My advice is to plough on regardless and keep doing what you love. Paint because you enjoy the process and not from an intension or need to sell it. If this happens then it’s a bonus!
Don’t wait until you’re in the right mood to paint, as every moment painting is a step further of understanding your art. Being action orientated and keeping creative through all emotions works for me.
You are known for your artwork but could you tell us a little bit about your ceramic work?
My ceramic work developed as I was setting up my Etsy shop. I wanted to offer handcrafted gifts as well as paintings. I also wanted to bring the little house from my paintings to life in a 3d format.
I find working with clay very therapeutic but my painting takes priority and I invest most of my time in this.
Your art seems very calm, is that a serenity that you crave or that you’ve found?
I find this serenity through painting. It’s such a solitary practice which takes me away from everything.
Studying colour and how it can alter our state of minds is so enjoyable for me which I love to explore through painting. Although, a lot of my work starts off quite energetic and bold, I paint until I feel the painting is settled and relaxed as this is the type of art, I like around me.
Years of practicing this technique is how my style has developed and reflects how I feel while painting.
Where do you sell your work?
I sell my paintings through several galleries. The latest being Ross Fine Art in Ireland and the Atelier Gallery in Edinburgh. I’m really excited to be selling outside of the UK. Another new gallery I’m looking forward to working with soon is the Saltbox Gallery in Helmsley, North Yorkshire.
Two publishing companies, Artko and iCanvas companies also reproduce my paintings as prints and onto gallery wrapped canvas. A full list of links is available on my website: www.lisahouseartist.co.uk
I also sell my original art, limited edition prints, greeting cards and ceramics through my Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/lisahouseartist