December 26, 2018

Artist Spotlight: Lisa Shannon

Artist Spotlight

Oh yeah, we have another Artist Spotlight for you! This week brings you abstract artist Lisa Shannon…

Tell us about your artwork…

“The painting I am holding is one of my most finished works. An abstract work on canvas in acrylic, ink and mixed media. I am very lucky to have a studio in my backyard and I just love being able to work from home.”

Abstract #7 (Tonal and Direct), 2018, Acrylic, ink and mixed media on canvas.

Framed 48cm x 64cm. (Black timber floating frame)

What was the hardest thing to do while making this particular artwork? Is there one section that you struggled to get right?

I worked on this painting for ages (approx 2 to 3 months) this is a long working process for me, as I usually work quite quickly. This work started out as something very different to what it ended up being. My original concept for this piece was to create an abstract image that was controlled and minimal. By minimal I mean a limited palette and limited brushstrokes. 

My style is very gestural and expressionist, I don’t do realism and I don’t do figurative work. I communicate through the colours I use and through the application and placement of the medium to the surface. I use a variety of tools to apply the medium, brushes, scrapers, rags, random pieces of hard edged plastic.  So this piece started out as a few brushstrokes on the canvas (see attached images in doc). But it didn’t work, it didn’t feel right. I struggled to decide on whether to persevere with my original concept or to scrap it and start over. I decided to start over, I never have a problem with painting over something that isn’t working.

Close ups of Abstract #7

“Part of my work practice and process is to strip a work back, so add a layer, play around with it and then remove it, either partially or totally. I find by doing this I can achieve some amazing textural and layered effects. When working with canvas as my surface I always end up using sandpaper and actually sanding back some of the layers of the paint. This is such a liberating thing to do. It’s great to see how far you can push the canvas.

So I started again, and followed my instincts in regards to placement of the colours, when to scrape or remove, when to add more. Painting and creating for me is a very instinctive process, that also has an element of the accidental. Sometimes you have to commit to making a mark and just seeing where it will take you. Worst case scenario, if it doesn’t work, you change it.

So the hardest thing for me to do while making this artwork was to really know when to stop. I could have kept adding and removing layers, but again I have to trust my instincts and my eye. The struggle with this piece was ensuring that each placement and scrape of colour actually worked and complimented the other elements within the painting.

I am really pleased with the finished painting, it is layered, colourful, interesting and textural.”

Follow Lisa’s Instagram for updates on her artworks.

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