Lisa Bartell compares her painting process to a favorite childhood past time, “staring at wood grain and discovering odd faces and figures.” This early spark of creativity has been nurtured through adulthood and now as an established painter, Bartell creates vivid abstract figuratives depicting the female form.
These figures are often whimsically elongated and distorted, or juxtaposed with animals whose characteristics represent a search for increased self-awareness. A common thread running throughout Bartell’s compositions are the recurring themes of searching for a heightened self-awareness and a continued quest for understanding of the concept that is self-identity.
Bartell starts each of her oil paintings with a dark hue applied to the canvas and brushed in various directions; the beginnings of nebulous forms begin to emerge, much like the shapes that emerged from the patterns of wood grain and fascinated the artist as a child.
Next, the artist studies her canvas for the elements of line, shape and form, focusing on the relationship between these elements, background figures and the connection of all these things to the primary character. Through innovative use of vivid color, thoughtful brushstrokes and texture applied using toothpicks, brush handles and through the manipulation of oil paints to achieve a range of consistencies, Bartell successfully creates her distinctive “organic and abstract compositions.”
My goal as an artist is to create a colorful cast of characters in a performance of their own self-discovery. ~ Lisa Bartell
See Lisa’s complete gallery of available works here.