April - May 2016
First Friday Receptions: April 1 & May 6, 6-9pm
300 S. Dawson Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
Looking back on each body of paintings, I now see how creating has healed and transformed my life. After years of working as an illustrator and portrait artist, I began oil painting as an internal expression. Uncovering hidden layers of the self, made it obvious that I needed to visually reflect what I was feeling. My paintings have been consistently influenced by past events which suddenly changed my internal perceptions of reality.
In a way, I’m returning to my childhood habit of staring at wood grain and discovering faces. Each painting begins with a dark hue brushed in various directions creating nebulous forms. Standing back from the canvas begins the search for lines and shapes that will influence the painting. After a lot of focused staring, imaginary yet recognizable imagery appears. Colors and brushstrokes are constantly transforming, while making decisions about what is or isn’t working in the composition. My ego wants to keep every form, but stripping away what doesn’t enhance the painting is part of the experienced and rational aspect of creating.
I often have to tell myself to just stop. The painting is finished.
My current paintings are a more playful expression, as the imagery is whimsical figures and mythical creatures. My goal is to create a colorful menagerie of odd and unusual characters intermingled in a performance of their own reality.
The imagery of my work may change from botanical abstracts to figurative abstracts, but the inspiration remains constant: an interpretation of the ongoing alterations to our internal perceptions of what is real.
Lisa Bartell was born in Albany, New York and raised in several areas of the country: Oakland, Ca, Syracuse, NY, Memphis, Tn. and Louisville, Kentucky. At the age of seventeen she moved to Mons, Belgium. She has now settled in Durham, NC with her husband Gary and two four legged children, Dexter and Drusilla. Bartell has two happy and healthy adult children, Sophia and Christopher.
Bartell’s mother encouraged creativity throughout her childhood, beginning with the design of Christmas and Valentine cards, walnuts turned into turtle pins and later Saturday drawing and painting classes at local art colleges. She went on to receive a BFA from Kent State University and an MFA from the University of Memphis. She also studied at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.
After several years as an illustrator and portrait artist, Bartell began oil painting in 2002. Her current paintings are a positive expression of life, depicting whimsical figures and imaginary animals.
Bartell is an award winning artist having received two artist showcase awards from Manhattan Arts International’s “The Healing Power of Art” and honorary mention from the Durham Art Guild and Light, Space and Time Gallery. Bartell has had several solo exhibits and group shows juried by renowned artists Beverly McIver, John Beerman and John Rosenthal. Her work is in several private collections.
Bartell has been featured in Durham’s The Herald Sun and the Herald Sun Metro, the Raleigh News and Observer, The Chapel Hill Independent, Artsee magazine and Art Calendar magazine. Her work was seen on Good Morning America’s segment Bob Woodward Reports, “Unsung Heroes: Families of Wounded Soldiers.”
HagerSmith Design PA is located in Raleigh’s Warehouse District, right around the corner from VAE at 300 S. Dawson Street. The gallery is open to the public Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and on First Friday from 6-9pm on the First Friday.