An Interview with August 2012 Featured Artist Liz Lund
WD: Tell us a little bit about yourself as an artist:
LL: I am an impressionist who mainly uses watercolor or other water based media. I often obtain my inspiration from my travels around the world (I am constantly on the prowl for another country to visit or unique experience). That being said, this show is based on my life as it is now. I'm a stay at home mom/artist who loves living here in the Pacific Northwest... thus my show is largely about kid stuff and landscapes from the area. I adore working in the abstract but I have found that my audience relates to my work better when I have a few recognizable anchor points so I try to include those in my artwork.
WD: What most inspires you?:
LL: I find my inspiration in the land around me, out here it's the amazing views and forests that we have but when I was in Washington DC it was the historical buildings or monuments that inspired me. I believe that our world is amazing and if we sit and stare around us there is often some beauty that we can capture and preserve. I've also found that monumental moments in my life can be very inspirational; for example I have a one year old kiddo... he inspires me daily. I often wish I could capture some of the moments that are most precious.... but then I have to chase him or change a diaper so I don't have time to do so!
WD: Can you tell us about your technique?:
LL: I am predominately a watercolor artist who uses the puddling style. No matter what I try to do with watercolor I end up puddling. Puddling is a style I learned about in college. To do this I will paint a 'puddle' of clear water on the paper and then drop pigment into it. This style creates a wild area of blooms and crazy colors inside the puddle. It is contrasted by crisp edges. I find that this dichotomy is really fun to have in a painting. I also love to use gouache to create 'cave paintings'. I created a way of making paper look like stone and then I layer pigment and 'cave drawings' on top of the 'stone' to create the feel of cave art.
WD: How do you involve your self in the local arts?:
LL: Quick answer is, "Any way I can!". The longer is answer is, I'm on the board at the Schack Art Center in Everett, I was in the Art in Great Spaces program and subsequently shared an art studio with Janet Wold on the corner of Wetmore and Hewitt. My time is fairly limited these days but I do work hard to support the local arts and artists.
WD: Can you share with us some of your artistic highlights?:
LL: After an eight year career in the government being able to pursue art is a highlight in and of itself. I love that my husband is so supportive of my dream. To have a show in Wise is wonderful and to have participated in Fresh Paint last year was amazing. It's hard to balance motherhood with art but definitely a worthwhile goal.
WD: Who is your favorite artist(s)?:
LL: Matisse and Caulder! Matisse because I find his ability to distil the world around him to simple but abstract shapes amazing. I love the simple power of his work. Caulder because I love his work but also because he create work with a sense of humor. Who else would create a six food blue cow with a yellow udder and red teats?
WD: As of this point what is your favorite painting you have done?: & Why?
LL: I believe that best piece of artwork to date is a huge painting based on the cave art found in Lascaux France. It took about three weeks of 12 hr days and I love it. I'm super proud of this work and hope to continue painting in this style. What I think is amazing is that I've never seen anyone else treat the paper similarly. By stretching the paper, gessoing it and then layering tiny paint splatters on the paint it really looks like stone. This artwork is a true labor of love since it takes a ton of effort to create a relatively small painting. The painting of Lascaux is one of my favorites because it is so deep, every time you stare at it you can see more things. I love hanging it in my house... and in my house it will stay! That being said, I'd be happy to re-create it for anyone at any time. I also really love the direction that my art took while preparing for this show. I often paint landscapes and although I continue to enjoy painting landscapes I find that branching out from the usual was a major challenge. I love the result I found in my blackbird series.
A Bit About Liz Lund~
I majored in art in college with a focus on watercolor landscapes and figure studies. Despite a degree in art, upon graduation I pursued a career with the federal government. I felt, and still often feel, the call of service either to my community, to my country or just to doing good works around me. In many ways, I find Matisse’s ability to simplify something down to its essence absolutely brilliant.
I generally paint in the puddling style because it allows for areas of wild color contrasted with crisp edges. Puddling is a method of using the properties of water to stay in a puddle and dropping color into the “puddle” of water. In many ways it’s like constructing a collage. When painting in the puddling method I must wait for an area to completely dry before starting on an adjacent area.
I have created a lot of new work for this show, most of it based on my life now, vs. previous travels and experiences. I have a young child at home, and I had a fair amount of difficulty conceiving and carrying a child. These difficulties have made the joys of finally meeting my son that much sweeter. When I was finally able to conceive my son I began listening to children’s songs only to realize that many of the traditional children’s songs were less than inspirational… until I stumbled upon ‘Blackbird’ by the Beatles. This song epitomizes everything I want to teach and encourage in children. It talks about life’s challenges and overcoming them. I simply fell in love with the idea of taking broken wings and learning to fly and so I had to paint it.
The second set of new paintings is inspired by one of our iconic images, Mt. Rainier. When I moved here I wondered if I would get used to the amazing scenery out here or if I would get possessive of it. I definitely got possessive; every time I see the mountains I want to paint them and often refer to them as “my Olympics”. Every time I see them, they are a different color, or different shadows or simply stunning in a new way. I’m so grateful to have moved to this amazing part of the country and I hope you enjoy my expression of my joy and gratitude for my current life.
See the full exhibit of Liz's paintings at WiseDesignz
2908 Wetmore Ave, Everett WA 98201