Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Look Back and Forwards


After 15 x 11 oil on paper 2014



I celebrated an anniversary this fall!  It has been five years since I took a leap of faith and quit my "day" job of waiting tables to focus my attention on my art career and teaching. It has been quite the journey.

I have had a studio practice since earning my MFA in the ’80s — showing, selling, and moving my work forward. I raised two children with my husband, worked nights, had the days to paint and market my work: pre-social media. Marketing back then included having a website, using regular mail and email. Of course, that was when people looked at their email.

I began teaching many years ago at the Center for Visual Arts in NJ.  I taught various techniques using encaustic, and over time realized that I was really sharing my approach to art making and it did not matter which materials were being used. Recently during a workshop I also figured out that my skills from waiting tables have made me a better teacher: multi-tasking, being attentive to individual needs, patience, talking to an audience, and a having a sense of humor.  You just never know what you’re going to learn from any situation you find yourself in...



demo panels  from Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill



Now that I have a full workshop schedule I am often asked: "When do you find the time to make your own work?"  

Traveling and teaching inspires me and brings energy to my studio practice. Teaching in diverse areas of our country and Europe has brought a richness to my work as I am inspired, not only by the landscape and the light but by the differences in the people I meet.



Photo from the air
Sedona                            
Soul Home 20 x 16 oil

I have been lucky to meet other teaching artists such as Rebecca Crowell and Ken Kewley   at Cullowhee Mountain Arts in North Carolina. Places like Arrowmont and Penland have resident artists and work study students who have interesting stories to tell and  work to show.  Also teaching workshops in other artists’ studios —such as Elise WagnerJeff Hirst and Sara Mast — provides a great experience for students, as well as a sharing  of ideas and networking opportunities for myself and the hosting artists.Most importantly, students always bring their own wealth of knowledge and insight to the workshop table.

The transition from teaching to the studio is tricky. One of the ways I have dealt with this is by having numerous works in process. Since my work addresses history and layers it is easy to jump back in and keep on working.












The answer to the question "When?" is… “Always!” I am always working; and drawing from my past, the places I go and the people I meet becomes part of me that I bring to my studio practice.

I am looking forward to the rest of 2014 and 2015 with a full calendar of workshops and  exhibitions. My challenge is finding the balance to spend time with my family, be in the studio, and have time to rest and recharge.  And not get stuck in any airports…UGH




Exhibitions:


2014





Decipher Installation, encaustic from Mapping a Place at Susan Eley Fine Art, NYC



Mapping a Place
Susan Eley Fine Arts
NYC, NY
Open until October 25, 2014

2015

The Space Between, Group Show curated by Elise Wagner and Jeff Butters, Butters Gallery, OR
Fire, Group Show, Telluride Gallery of Art, Telluride, CO
Decipher, R&F Handmade Paints, Kingston, NY
Solo Show, Causey Contemporary, NYC, NY

 2014 NJ Workshop Schedule: 

Sunday, October 19th 
Introduction to Encaustic
Visual Arts Center
Summit, NJ

Sunday, November 2
Encaustic, Beyond the Basics
Visual Arts Center
Summit, NJ

Sunday, November 9
Experimenting with Pigment Sticks
Visual Arts Center



A Day in the Catskills, encaustic, encaustic from Mapping a Place at Susan Eley Fine Art, NYC

2014-2015 WORKSHOP INTENSIVES:
   

 November 19–20, 2014

Advanced Encaustic

R&F Handmade Paint, Kingston , NY
This two-day advanced encaustic workshop will take experienced students to the next level in technique and expression. Individual direction and development of a personal vision will be a goal of this class with an emphasis on freeing the creative spirit. I will use guided exercises to lead students through an intuitive creative process, developing a new body of work that is richly layered in content and concept. Activities will include exercises, informal group discussion and individual support. Exercises are grounded in abstraction; attention will be paid to the use of personal symbols and markings that could develop into a deeper visual dialogue. 




December 10-12, 2014

Exploring Your Visual Language with R&F Pigment Sticks
R&F Handmade Paint, Kingston , NY
R&F Pigment Sticks are oil paint with just enough wax added for the paint to be molded into stick form. They allow the artist to draw or paint onto a surface with freedom and directness. This workshop introduces you to pigment sticks and allows you to explore a wide variety of mark making, creating rich layered surfaces. Exercises are designed to help beginners and professionals alike free themselves from preconceived ideas of painting. Emphasis will be on using the techniques to heighten and enhance the artist's own visual language. Individual attention is given to each student so the beginner as well as the professional will get the feedback needed to bring back to their studio. Power point presentations, discussions of contemporary art, professional and career support are all offered.


  2015
Journey, oil and pigment stick encaustic from Mapping a Place at Susan Eley Fine Art, NYC





January 7- 8
Advanced Encaustic
R&F Handmade Paint
Kingston , NY


Jan 15, 16,17,18  SOLD OUT
Jan 18,19,20,21   SOLD OUT
THE ALCHEMY OF PROCESS 
with Elise Wagner & Lisa Pressman


February 6-8

Layered Media: Finding Your Mark using Cold Wax and Mixed media  
South Shore Arts Center
Cohasset, MA


Feb 20-22

Layered Media: Finding Your Mark using Cold Wax and Mixed Media  
Visiting Artist Program,
Hirst  Printmaking
Oakland, CAEmail for information: jeff@jeffreyhirst.com


March 13-15

Layered Media: Finding Your Mark using Cold Wax and Mixed Media  
Ringling College of Arts
Sarasota, FL

 April 27-May 1

Layered Media: Finding Your Mark using Cold Wax and Mixed Media  

Pacific Northwest Art School
Whidbey Island, WA



Chanting, oil on paper encaustic from Mapping a Place at Susan Eley Fine Art, NYC
 
 
June 8-9
Advanced Encaustic : Layers, Richness and Personal Vision
9th International Encaustic Conference
Provincetown, Mass


July 12-18
To Be Announced
Cullowhee Mountain Arts
Cullowhee, NC
 
August 13-18
To Be Anounced
Ah Haa School of Art
Telluride, CO


 

Mentoring Offered: Please email for information

Recommendation from artist Bridgette Guerzon Mills
"I came to Lisa Pressman with a specific set of goals in mind that I wanted to address in my art and my art career goals and she was a wonderful soundboard and guide. I really appreciated the way she looked at my work and my goals and helped me hone in on what is essential to my visual voice, as well as pushing me to really think and delve further. Months later, I am still referring to my notes I took during our sessions and our email exchanges. Doing the mentorship with Lisa was like being given a toolbox full of resources and reflections that I have taken with me and will keep with me for a long time. "
 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Save the Date:: September 10th




MAPPING A PLACE
LISA PRESSMAN 
Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 10, 6-8 pm


September 10 - October 25, 2014
46 West 90th Street, Floor 2, New York, NY

My show will include several series of works including this new body of work which are hanging in the studio right now!



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Team Teaching-The Magic of Artist - Friends, Part 2

Here is a blog post from Cullowhee Mountain Arts about a workshop  I am teaching with my fellow artist and friend Sara Mast Thanks to Norma Hendrix for putting it together!



Team Teaching-The Magic of Artist - Friends, PART 2



 Lisa Pressman and Sara Mast are both known for their work with painting in encaustic medium - hot wax with pigment. When paired together in the classroom, the synergy soars. 



I asked Lisa and Sara to share comments from students who have been the recipient of their Team Teaching. Here are some of their remarks:

“Each day we participated in various movement /energy exercises, which were each lead by an experienced instructor. The day culminated with a group critique and plenty of discussion based on our daily work. Ideas and creativity was constant and free-flowing. The workshop was well organized and I left satisfied with my body of work. The quality of education both Sara and Lisa offer is top notch. I highly recommend an opportunity to participate in one of their workshops, as I personally look forward to the next one!”     Susan Bendas

"Working with Lisa and Sara changed my entire perspective as an artist and catapulted me happily into a previously unexplored direction with my work with all mediums. Intense, exhilarating, fun and freeing - I loved every minute of my workshop with them and you will too!”  Kathy

This is a quote  from a fellow student who participated with Sara and I, in an Encaustic monotype workshop taught by Paula Roland at the International Encaustic Conference.

"One exercise we were assigned(by Paula Roland) was to use a 20-foot Japanese paper scroll, cut to 10 feet, to produce an encaustic monotype. Lisa and Sara decided to work together. They rolled the scroll out onto the sidewalk and continued making marks. They took the scroll out on the grass and hung it on a tree. They rolled it up and kicked it around. All the while they were laughing and appearing to have a great time. Initially I thought this was a very juvenile and sophomoric act. It was not until they brought it inside and piled it on a table during our art critique that I realized that this really became an installation. When they described what had transpired it became apparent that what they did was demonstrate what it means tto collaborate with another artist. They showed all of us an aspect of what it really means to be an artist. It was a wonderful educational experience."   Norman T. Soskel



The workshop with Lisa & Sara was one of the most empowering art experiences I have had in a long time. The energy was unbelievable; so powerful. -

"The atmosphere of the workshop was one of playfulness and serious focus.  Sara and Lisa demonstrated the limitless possibilities of expression inherent in the medium.  It was just what I needed to take back to my studio.  Thanks you again for a great workshop,  you guys are a dynamic duo....."

Lisa and Sara Will be Team-Teaching May 18-23 at Beautiful Lake Logan Retreat Center, 
here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. 
Click here for all the details - http://bit.ly/1l3RLiJ

Painting with Lisa and Sara is magic.  You will explore your inner process and it's meaning to you and your work.  This workshop will be interactive, and you will grow and learn from these two wonderful teachers.  It will truly bring your work out of any routine or "sameness" and get you to challenge yourself and clarify where you are going with your art and what you want to communicate with it.  Rita



The FUSE workshop taught by Lisa Pressman and Sara Mast was an extraordinary experience for me!  Not only did it take place in the gorgeous and inspiring setting of Sara's private Montana studio (along with very delicious food and other fun activities, too), but the class itself was extremely worthwhile.   Lisa and Sara are both such wonderful instructors -- incredibly talented and knowledgeable artists who are so generous and nurturing toward their students.  I can't say enough about their teaching style.  Both are well established artists and teachers, yet they are very down to earth and approachable.  Whether the students are experienced artists or relative newcomers to the field, Lisa and Sara are able to relate to them comfortably and guide them in the appropriate direction for their skill level.  I came to the FUSE workshop in an effort to deepen my art practice and to open myself to new possibilities in my work.  I accomplished this, and so much more!  Not only did Lisa and Sara teach technique (and lots of it), but content and personal history as it relates to our work were both important aspects of this workshop.  I still have many of the exercises from the workshop in the back of my mind these days, as I'm painting in my own studio.  This experience has led me to new, unexpected and exciting avenues in my work.  I would highly recommend the FUSE workshop, or any taught by Lisa and Sara, to painters who are looking to take their own work to a deeper and more personal level!
Anna Patricia Keller,  participant, FUSE, Art in Motion Workshop,  Bozeman, MT.  Summer 2013

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Krista Svalbonas: New Work and Influences


Brunswick E 13 14x14x2_oil on felt


Krista Svalbonas is an artist, fellow collaborator and close friend! Her work is included in a group show at Kenise Barnes Fine Art in Larchmont through April 21. I am excited about the materiality, textility and sculptural feel of this work which contrasts the architectural geometry. Here is a review of Krista's recent installation that was in Kutztown, Pa.

I asked Krista for her statement and influences for the new work:

Brunswick E 02 14x14oil on felt





I have a longstanding interest in architecture, particularly urban environments. My work deals with low-income housing complexes; modernist architectural ideals, drawing from Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Soviet architecture; and the phenomenology of space. My cultural background as an ethnically Latvian/Lithuanian artist has informed this interest. In both countries’ capitals, during the communist era, cultural buildings were repurposed into warehouses; churches were demolished; the old town centers fell into decay. New constructions were made cheaply: no insulation, inadequate plumbing and heating. My connection to this history has made me acutely aware of the impact of politics on architecture, and in turn on a people’s daily lived experience.

I document what I see extensively, mostly through the use of a Fuji Polaroid camera for its instantaneous and immediate results. These images become the source material for my work.

Polaroid 4



Polaroid 08



There are particular artists that have inspired me due to their use of materials, their relationship to architecture or their use of space. A few of them are:


Lastly, I continue to be influenced by the work of my peers and friends, too many to name. I feel very grateful to be surrounded by a wealth of fabulous artists whose tireless efforts continue to bring me inspiration in the studio.

Brunswick E 04 14x14 oil on felt



Brunswick E  4 14x14x2_oil on felt






Thursday, February 13, 2014

Studio Visit with Matthew Langley


Medium Cool 30 x 36 o/c 2014


I stopped in and had a studio visit with artist Matthew Langley two weeks ago. We had a great time talking about his work, painting in general, materials, galleries, current exhibitions and life in general. The last time I wrote about Matthew's work was in 2009 on this blog.


"I've come across Matthew Langley's work on several blogs and enjoy looking at it on his website. One needs to spend some time with each piece as they reveal themselves over time-a mark here, a change in color and texture there. He incorporates a wonderful use of line -the grid, of course- with drawn lines of color and surface, along with a mindful use of the edge. I find the work playful with a rich painter's vocabulary." Blog post here


I wrote him after the visit:
"After seeing the new work I think there has been a shift in your palette, the layering process and the attention to surface. Also the work seems to be more minimal at first glance but actually contains a quiet lushness. What would say are the changes in the last 5 years?"


He responded:
"I think all of what you wrote is true.
I've become really interested in building the surfaces in a slightly different way lately. Earlier, I would build them in one broad color at a time. These days I'm far more likely to build the layers in multiple colors to allow the surface to slowly reveal that mark-making and paint action. I do find this approach adds to the lushness of the final work. I like that lushness, although it's not an end point. 
I think the work is more minimal than it was 5 years ago - the concerns towards the graphic quality have changed. I'm more focused on he process of building the image and a bit less on the graphic punch.
On top of all of the approaches and mark-making, I have started to develop a real fascination that the artwork must show the history of the making of the artwork as well. I have had some great and not so great success with this and it becomes something that continually pulls me back into the studio."
matthew langley


Love Songs on the Radio, 2014, 40x48, oil on canvas 

Love Songs on the Radio in progress


studio shot with Maggie


From Across The Kitchen Table. 24x30 o/c 



From Across The Kitchen Table, in progress


Photo catches the blue light from the studio window



From studio window


In Progress

Painting tools


Cooking rack with palette and tools



Something brewing on the side













 A Grand Complication, 2014, 24x30, Oil on Canvas 











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