Lisa Porter Lawrence
Specialties: Painting, Murals, Drawing, Furniture, Sculpture
That existence is a fascinating discovery, ever renewing and transforming, both in perception and in actuality, as states of being, has been my most consistent motivation to create art, even when it has seemed similar to chasing floaters in my eyes — which has been most of the time!
For communicating concepts that are often implied by what is seen or “sensibly detected” but are not always noticed has been a compulsion from a very young age, as I tended to be aware of things in my environment that escaped the attention of others, or, simply did not seem to merit their focus or address. So, I began to scribble and then to draw my visions as an orienteer might map out coordinates in order to give direction, show value where it had been overlooked or dismissed. I wanted to share my discoveries … and still do.
The process of discovery leads the creation of every work, even commissions, as preconceived ideas are only starting points. One mark at a time, a blank canvas is transformed into layers of colorful fields that describe something where nothing had been, even as re-visioning and repurposing old furniture into works of art also mimics life cycles and energetic investments, choices, one upon another that determine eventual outcome, enhancing awareness whether foreseen or not.
Spending my earliest years overlooking the Ohio River from a clifftop home imprinted a sense of narrative in my psyche with the highly animated view of mysterious small islands and a constant passage of barges, boats and summertime water-skiers, as well as the occasional classic steamboat with its large paddle wheel. Even the rise and fall of the roller coaster cars between the trees across The River was about depth and perception, hide and seek, coupled with stories told by the passengers’ echoing cries, each screaming a different take on a common theme. It was life in a nutshell, a metaphor for all times.
My personal roller coaster took me with family to New Jersey, and I stayed on The East Coast through “schooling years,” receiving a B.A. with a Studio Concentrate from Goucher College, Maryland, followed by post graduate studies at The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and spending six months with The Hoffberger Graduate School of Painting, MICA. I began exhibiting my work while in these study programs and continued into fully professional arenas immediately thereafter.
When an inexplicable longing for a desert climate was partnered with visions of the Southwest, I concluded my direct experience of the East Coast Art Scene with a show at Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore and headed west. In 1982, I arrived in Santa Fe NM with a truck and camping gear. New Mexico has been my home ever since, always supporting my spiritual inclinations and supplying never ending adventures and subject matter for artwork, consistent with the visionary theme of my earliest years.