Lisa Elley’s story begins on a little farm in New Zealand, shaped by rolling green hills and countless hours of sketching.
As the youngest of four in a family with one income, toys were minimal, and this instilled a wonderful ingenuity in her.
Due to a deep love of travel, and a passion for experiencing new things, she has lived in London, New York, Florida, and now the San Francisco Bay Area, which is alive with artistic inspiration.
Lisa’s passion for palette knife painting is greatly influenced by her surroundings. She says “one of the best things about being an artist is the perspective it gives you on everyday things.”
She can often be spotted trying to capture a photo of a random scattering of wildflowers that grow so prolifically in California. On an evening walk, Lisa is often looking up at the dappled light filtering through the tree canopy, figuring how to capture the form with her knives.
Lisa enjoys people watching, urban sketching, and also loves to paint Plein Air (outside). When she can’t do this, she stays alert to paint worthy moments, photographs them, and explores them later in the studio.
Adelman Fine Art is pleased to represent Lisa Elley and share her talent with collectors worldwide.
Q & A INTERVIEW
AFA: What is the most played song on your iTunes/Spotify/Pandora right now?
LE: “I listen to music all day. Most played song at the moment is Girls Like You by Maroon 5. Upbeat and catchy.”
AFA: Why do you paint with a palette knife?
LE: “Great question! Why make it harder?! Well, when I paint with a brush, which I do occasionally, I tend to focus on the detail. With a palette knife I can’t focus on the detail too much, so my paintings are looser, and more gestural, with bigger sweeps and strokes. Also spreading oil paint with a palette knife has an amazing feel, not unlike spreading buttery frosting on a cake.”
AFA: What was the last thing you Googled?
LE: “The last thing I googled was “Death Valley Superbloom” I’m highly visual, many of my searches are images.”
AFA: How would you describe your style?
LE: “My style is loose and fast, with a combination of painterly detail and obvious, larger palette and painting knife strokes, swipes and scrapes. This gives my paintings a blended yet somehow sharp effect. The thick impasto texture, which is a byproduct of using a palette knife, gives an amazing sense of movement, as it reflects the light more than a regular brush painting.”
AFA: What’s your go-to coffee order?
LE: “Go to coffee order is Chromatic’s Double shot Americano. I can get everything in my day done with one of these.”
AFA: What drives you to create your art?
LE: “My knives have a hold on me, I actually have very little to do with it! I spend virtually every waking moment either painting, thinking about what I am going to paint next, visualizing the ambiance of my next painting, what direction to take with my marketing, what supplies I am running low on, and so on. But when I pick up a painting knife, it all disappears, I feel calm, less turbulent inside my own head, and at peace. It really is cathartic. I work very quickly, and my gratification comes from a whirlwind relationship with me, and my knives. I love to finish a painting in one session, and actually usually I have to, as my palette knife technique is wet on wet. The amazing feeling of spreading buttery paint on a canvas is very satisfying, and it completes me.”
AFA: What do you think is your spirit animal and why?
LE: “My spirit animal is a lioness. As a creative I walk alone a lot, but I love connection, work hard, take no nonsense, and give a ton to life in general, and to the people I love. I’m ferocious when crossed, but mostly hugely gentle.”
AFA: How does painting make you feel and what emotions do you try and radiate from your work?
LE: “Painting makes me feel worthwhile, gives me an immediate inner thrill, immense feelings of joy, touches my aspiring heart and makes me want to become a better person.
Because art is so subjective, and my subject matter is quite varied, I strive to give people a feeling of being absorbed by, and drawn into the painting by a tangible sense of light; whether it’s dappled afternoon sunlight peeking through tree leaves, the stark shadows of an ancient European building, or the harsh reflection of the sun off a snowy mountaintop. I also strive for a noticeable sense of movement in my paintings, especially my birch tree landscapes. After the initial explosion of color, dazzling cadmium reds, yellows and oranges, combined with luscious cerulean and French ultramarine blues, you will then notice leaves falling, and being blown around, helping to draw you in and feel like you just have to be in that birch forest, experiencing the smell, sounds, and visual beauty of our amazing planet.“
AFA: In what aspects do you feel you’ve grown the most as an artist?
LE: “As an artist, I am constantly evolving. My technique keeps improving (I think), due to a lot of practice, mistakes, visions, research, and constant pondering. I am still quite early in my career. In just over two years I have gone from novice to a professional, working artist with gallery representation. One of the best things that being a professional artist has allowed me to do, is to make a living out of something I love to do all day. This is an incredibly liberating feeling, along with the joy of touching people emotionally with my art, and has made me a better person in respect of this revelation. I have two young daughters who I am consequently trying to teach to follow their dreams, find their passion, and go for it!“
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