Lisa Penz - Featured Artist for May 2011


Inside Out, Mixed Media, 24 x 24 in. 

Which artistic media do you prefer to work in and why?

Although I am not limited to one particular medium, so far, I have  preferred to paint in acrylics. Since spontaneity is a major player in what guides the direction of my work, I like to work quickly. Acrylic paint is ideal because it dries very fast. I also love to incorporate various media to achieve a more translucent surface and create more dynamic results.


With which past or contemporary artists or artworks do you, as an artist, feel a connection? What is it that draws you to them?

I feel a connection with Rimi Yang’s work. She seamlessly blends renaissance figurative with abstract expressionism to achieve an unparallelled style that resonates with me on an emotional level and from an aesthetic point-of-view. Simply said – they engage me because they are stunning, brave, and beautiful.


What process or technique in art-making interests you?

I am very intrigued by the sporadic effects of multiple layers of acrylics and medium. The relationship between paint and medium - from layer to layer and then the overall painting as a whole is fascinating. I can get very wrapped up in the complexity of the making. 

What technical challenges do you face in the process of making art?

Where my natural illustration and graphic tendencies end and the actual act of painting begins. Finding that perfect balance. 


What in your artistic training do you value most at this time?

Experimentation. The willingness to forge ahead into new territories.


How much of a role do accident and control play in your work?

My work is a fine balance between accident and control. Structure and control are found within my compositions and portraits. Lately, I allow myself to experiment more and this discovery process invites a plethora of accidents. I now let the 'slip-ups' guide my work though. I see accidents as beauty, though I see myself still mostly in control..


What are some of your artistic challenges at present?

Direction - in terms of creating something that is very unique and not already out there. Another challenge that I keep on facing is: what I prefer to create vs. what the market wants to see. It is a constant challenge for me to separate myself from the demands of our modern society and influence in the media.


What are some of your artistic accomplishments at present?

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to exhibit my paintings both locally and over-seas.

In 2010, I had the pleasure of painting supermodel, Coco Rocha
I’m also very proud that I launched my new site - which I designed myself:


Can you share three things you’ve learned as an artist through your own art?

  1. Experimentation and maintaining an open mind can lead you to unimagined possibilities within your work.
  2. Do not try to force a result.
  3. Allow yourself to play.

When you need inspiration, how to do you get it?

I get outside and walk around. I go to local galleries. I travel to other cities and see what’s out there. I go for coffee with other creatives. I look at foreign fashion magazines.


When you need to learn more as an artist, how do you do it?

If I need to learn more as an artist (technically speaking) – I go to art supply stores and look around… I talk to other artists. I enroll in courses with instructors I admire. I ask fellow artists questions. I experiment.  

If I want to learn more about the field – I speak to the people who are doing what I want to do. I do not hesitate to ask the questions.


What is exciting on your artistic horizon?

2011 will be about focusing on my niche and developing my personal style in painting. I look forward to expanding and perhaps doing group shows in New York. I’m also working on an exciting project, which merges my artwork with fashion.


What is it about this artwork (Inside Out) that led you to choose it for this feature? What specific challenges did you face in making this artwork?

I chose this work to feature because it encompasses everything I’ve learned through art up until now. Inside Out represents transformation and an emergence, depicting beauty and struggle. This painting shows a collection of my artistic talents and interests: female portraiture, abstract expressionism, colour exploration. I painted it in several episodes. At first it was light and whimsical. It was too “pretty” for what I was experiencing at the time and I was unhappy with it. I decided to detach myself completely from the work and drenched it in Payne’s Grey while keeping some memories of the original light layers. Then I added some moments of “Barbie” pink as the final touch.


I happily welcome any thoughts or feedback about this painting, thank you!