Friday, October 2, 2009

Artist of the Month at R & F Handmade Paints and a bit of history

I have always been a materials person. I began fooling around making pottery when I was fifteen and even applied to Alfred ("the" place to go for ceramics) but I ended up at Douglass College in the art department.
Eventually, I became more interested in clay as material.The first few pieces I made were individual objects made of bisqued clay.

"Patterns" 1978 L Pressman

"Random Pilings" 1978 L Pressman

Then I began using the unfired clay itself, combining it with wood that I got from my father's lumber yard. I loved the yard with all the screws, nuts, paint chips and scraps of wood.

The Rack unfired clay and wood 1979

My father and I would go to the lumber yard and "take inventory " on Sundays. Meaning that we would load up the car with wood scraps for
me to use in my work.

Appearances Can Deceive-View one and two, unfired clay and wood 1979 LPressman

In graduate school I made a few pieces with wood and plaster.

Plaster and Wood 1981 L Pressman

Then I discovered color and concentrated on painting.( it's a good thing judging from these last two images)

one of the first paintings-1981
40 x 60 oil

Restraint oil and cold wax 42 x 52 1983 LPressman

Pink Rain oil and cold wax 48 x 70 oil 1989 L Pressman

Charcoal, pastel,oil paint, cold wax, collage -it all shows up in the work over the years.

I think the show Waxing Poetic at the Montclair Art Museum in 1999 was one that introduced me, along with many other artists to the possibilities of wax. Not long after that I took an encaustic workshop and fooled around with it for several years. I did a series of small works that combined encaustic and vintage postcards.

Arrived Allright 5 x7 encaustic L Pressman 2000

Japan encaustic 5 x7 L Pressman 2000

and I continued making paintings in oil.

Lower Depths mixed media 41 x 38 2005 L Pressman

Still 24 x24 oil on board,charcoal 2005 L Pressman

Several years ago the opportunity to teach encaustic came my way. So I traveled up to R&F Handmade Paints in Kingston, NY to hone my skills.
I did a five day "teaching workshop" with ten other artists.That session took my work in a whole other direction. Since then I have been working with encaustic primarily.

Circle encaustic 30x30 2007 L Pressman

#3 Moons encaustic 16 x16 2007 LPressman

It feels as though another shift is coming on in the studio. I just finished a commissioned oil painting and have another piece in the works that combines both encaustic and oil so........we shall see...

Portal 2 oil 48 x 48 at Post 390, Boston

Meanwhile, I am pleased to announce that I am featured as Artist of the Month on the R and F website. They posted some images and an interview. One of the questions Laura, the gallery director asks is:
If one could follow one your paintings as if it were a map, where do you imagine it would lead? That is a question to keep on trying to answer.

R & F Handmade Paints makes encaustic paint, sells encaustic supplies and offers workshops. It is a great place. All the people who work there are artists and the energy is a good one. Even if you don't paint in encaustic if you are ever in Kingston, NY make a stop: watch how they make the paint; talk to the artists; look at the gallery; and buy some of those delicious pigment sticks to play with.


layers said...

I love to see artist's transitions and changes-- I have also been through a lot of transitions having started with transparent watercolor landscapes, moving into abstract gouache, then on to acrylic non-objective, and now collage, assemblage and even my first beeswax over collages this week. You have certainly been through some interesting transitions. Your early pottery is very intriguing-- I also started with pottery but did not get very far when I switched to painting.

Margaret Ryall said...

Thanks for the trip through your development Lisa. I am very interested in improving my encaustic skills and last month participated in an R & F sponsored workshop in St. John's, Newfoundland. Laura was the instructor. All my thoughts are now on encaustic. Congratulations on the artist of the month at R & F. I'm going to Kingston next spring . What a treat.

* said...


I really enjoyed seeing the earlier works and understanding a little of your narrative of getting from there to where you are now.

Thanks for this post!