Artist Focus: Lisa Carney
Lisa Carney was raised by an artistic family in Quebec, Canada before earning a degree in Visual Arts. After years of experimenting with different methods and techniques, she perfected her own acrylic style: rows of textured color inspired by soil horizons.
Her works allow for an abstract comparison of colors as they're stacked on top of one another to become a composite image that rises off each wood panel, thick with paint. The title for each work draws a clear connection between the colors chosen and their source of inspiration with titles like "Sand Clay," "Sangria," and "Lemon Sonata."
What’s the first thing you can ever remember making or painting?
A few months before my first day of kindergarten, I got this idea in my little head that going to school meant making art. I was so much in a hurry to start school that I had prepared a little old suitcase with papers, coloring books and crayons that I called my “school bag” and was ready to go! Months seemed like an eternity. Nearly every time I would see a school bus in front of my house I would ask my mom if I could go. Once the big day arrived, all the parents were talking to the teacher while we played with toys and made new friends. But I had only one thing on my mind. After bugging the teacher several times, we were given large sheets of white glossy paper and jars of gouache. At last I could touch the gooey colors! The first thing I ever painted, was an abstract gouache finger painting. I remember it was royal blue and I wish I still had it...
How long after working as an artist did you find your own abstract method of interpretation?
After about five years of experimentation, the colors I’m attracted to, my love for texture and my method of arranging it all together, has developed into a unique way of expressing what touches me.
How would you describe your style of work?
I would describe it as linear abstraction with large sections of textured colors in a minimalist abstract style, done spontaneously and intuitively.
What do you do outside of being an artist, and how does your artwork complement it?
I sing and have been in many hard rock and metals bands since my late teens. I would say that art and music complement each other and are a way of expressing myself depending on my mood. I need both in my life. I write much like I paint, intuitively. I don’t know where it all comes from, but I have a ball of energy inside me that needs to come out in one form or another. Currently I’m not in any band as I’m focusing more on my art career.
Do you have any specific routines or habits necessary for the creation of your work?
Not really. I just grab a blank canvas, start putting colors on it and paint until I am happy with the composition. Sometimes it all happens in one session other times it can take weeks.
What are you hoping to communicate to each viewer with your abstract, minimalist paintings?
First of all, I want my paintings to communicate the joy and fun that I have creating them. Secondly, having grown up near the beach, I want my paintings to soothe and calm like standing in front of the sea.
How does your process for making assemblages or collages different from painting on an empty canvas?
At first the design is put together intuitively quite like my paintings. I do so by gathering papers I painted and drift wood that I have collected on my visits to the beach. Then the process becomes more technical by adhering and sewing the wood in place.
In what ways are you working to expand upon your existing body of work for the future?
Right now, I’m working on incorporating recognizable subjects in my paintings. This is tricky, because I want to combine my abstract style with elements taken from nature such as plants, roots, grass, florals... while maintaining an intuitive approach.
Who are some of the artists you admire most?
I have so many, everyday, I search the net, looking at art. I also visit local exhibitions, galleries and museums. It’s a drug for me. I just love looking at art.
Here are just a few artists that inspire me, but there are so many more... Rothko, Richter, Pollock, Newman, Kline...
What do you think of this new art world in the digital age?
It is opening so many doors for both artists and collectors. Anyone can be in the comfort of their own home and learn, buy, sell, collect art. I think it is making it easier for anyone to become an artist. There is so much free accessible information on the net. In the end, I think it just pushes artists to be more innovative.
Which art websites do you frequent and why?
Aside Artsia, I like visiting www.terminartors.com and www.artdoxa.com. These are great community-based interactive painting galleries.
Do you have any advice for new art students just entering the field?
Stay true to yourself and persevere. If you like and are proud of what you create, good chances are that someone else will like it too.