My name is H.A. Larson and I am a Woman of a Particular Age. I occasionally write ghostly and horror novellas, as well as some editorials for different publications, from my desk in the Midwest. I'm a hiker, adventurer, and traveler. I'm an ex-pat in-training that likes wine and Renaissance Faires. I'm a music fanatic and I much prefer a book over television.
Good morning! A few years back, I did a short feature on a musician that I knew, and reviewed an album of his. I'd like to do a little more of that, as I love art, music, and anything creative in general. This artist's portrait is about Lisa Wells, a personal friend of mine, who's into making art of many mediums. I had a chance to sit down and talk with her, and I'm going to share that with you today.
Magic Woman by Lisa Wells
Hi Lisa, can you tell
us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a Nebraska native who’s just recently relocated to Portland Oregon. I
received by Bachelor’s of Studio Art with a K-12 teaching certification from
the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. Since graduating, I’ve had a lot
of different experiences from teaching English in Thailand to helping build a
cob house at the Gypsy Café in Oregon. I love being surrounded by the natural
world. I have always been very interested too, in sociology, psychology,
ontology -the fields that pose existential questions and spark the imagination.
What inspired you to start making art? What inspires your art now?
I’ve always created art. As a kid, it was almost a compulsion. I’d space out in
the middle of math class and come to moments later to realize I’d drawn all
over my desk. That never went over well. Over the years, a lot of inspiration
has come from the natural world and then throughout college it was very
existentially-focused. Currently, my work has taken a couple paths: there’s the
more heady academic work and the lighter, utilitarian project. My drawings and
hand-painted leather items are inspired by the desire to offer art that is
playful and easy to access. They feature the kind of designs, subjects, and
bright colors that have delighted me since childhood. Most recently, I have
been inspired by my work on a sorting, and researching project concerning an
extensive collection of antique engravings and lithographs from the mid 1800s
to the early 20th century. It’s a lot of Art Noveau work and naturalist library
prints. Look to see this new influence in my upcoming leather paintings and
What is your favorite medium?
Hmm, that’s a hard question. I really love 3-dimensional art because of the endless
possibilities- It’s very outside of the box. I did a sculptural piece where I
painted a 6’ x 6’ wall and then mounted plaster casts of faces along with
tassled curtains. There is so much I long to explore in this medium. You can
use sound, light, tangible objects, time. It’s heavy stuff but totally open.
Painting, though, is soothing and very meditative. I can do it anywhere which
is great for my current situation working and living in such a small space. I
can just focus on how the colors interact with each other and on the
repetitive, yet exacting motion of the brush.
What kind of art are you currently making?
I’m currently doing a lot of hand-painting on vintage/lightly worn leather. It
feels great to give something new life and to be able offer more affordably
priced items. I’ve also done some drawing, and currently offer custom drawings
of pets. A lot of the work is very representation yet stylized and design
oriented. They’re the more commercial sort of pieces that one can wear or hang
on the wall, but of which the artistry can still totally be appreciated.
Is there any kind of preparation, mentally and physically, that you do to get
ready to create?
I have to be at peace with my self. My conscious and subconscious minds have to
be on good terms. That means I need to address worries, distractions and any
other cognitive clutter before I create. I try to be in a meditative state.
Whatever I’m drawing or painting I intensely contemplate. I often unlock great
new insights while in this state.
Is your art for sale? If so, where can we find it?