Understanding Your Uniqueness

“How do you know what to paint?” I get asked this a lot.

I'll try my best to explain my answer below…

"I feel it before I paint it. And sometimes I see it but mostly I feel it..."  is what I want to say. That’s probably the answer I’ll give you. Because it’s true.

But if thats too cryptic, I may go on to tell you that it took me painting hundreds, maybe a thousand—probably thousands—of practice paintings during my life to engage my nervous system to form an idea for a painting, often minutes before my paint brush touches the canvas. 

I paint what I would want to see on my own wall. 

On the very day I paint, I envision what I would like to ideally see in my own space. We are living alongside the art we hang, and my aim is to align genuine intension with an elegant aesthetic to elevate your living spaces— your life. 

We understand that our taste can change quickly, right? So I come up with ideas by using my unique abstract art style, defined by a few things...

I rely on my training and honed craft. Trust yourself to fall back on what you have painstakingly learned over time. Allow for a generous amount of spontaneity in the moment. How can you act with spontaneity if you are not exactly comfortable without a plan? 

Force. The secret is: force youself. 

Whatever creative thing youre working on, use the picture in your mind as a rough outline to guide your senses. For me, the more paintings completed when I wasnt feeling up to the task, the higher the odds were that the initial formed feelings would materialize on the canvas. Thats exciting. And thats frustrating!

Your Unique Style Is An Amalgamation Of Everything You Love. Not Just One Thing. 

The unique combination of everything you love becomes your style. Fight it or not.

Look to your earliest years. I want to know what your favourite “go-to” sleepover movie was. What was mine? JAWS. And! The Little Mermaid. In that order.

Speaking of childhood, I think of cold, bright candy in the summertime. The blue Freezie. You always chose the blue one too, right?

Can you remember the first book you read? Those themes keep repeating in your life. Because that protagonist is you.

Its just a guess, but you might be thinking that your style propensities are trivial given that everything in our world currently screams urgent and radical. Just maybe. Are you tempted to downplay your own style? 

If you want to better understand your uniqueness— give your weirdness space. Not a little bit of space. A LOT OF SPACE. 

Make it a point to notice and consider the things that you have always been drawn to that you have loved forever. Immerse them into many moments during the week. 

I love Disney fine art. Like many of you, I grew up during the Disney Renaissance… Disney animation speaks to my soul. I've been fortunate enough to have exhibited my Disney themed art at Van Eaton Galleries in Los Angeles. I painted a Little Mermaid painting with Ursula the Sea Witch for Van Eatons Villains art exhibition. I also sold an Enchanted Tiki Room painting (featuring pineapple Dole Whip of course) for Van Eatons Tiki Toons show before the paint had dried.

I never dreamed my artwork would be up at the Chuck Jones Gallery, but I painted Pocahontas for a Disney themed Group Exhibition. I was able to live out the style that was my genesis and the stepping stone to the style that I have today. 

My evolution continued. 

A few short years after the Los Angeles art exhibitions, I fell in love with Abstract painting. I wanted to blend more freedom into my style. 

Do you want more freedom?

For years I tried to combine Disney animation themes with Abstract paintings. I was told it couldnt be done in a seamless way. I played with thick paint, then thin. BOLDER brush strokes, lighter strokes. Strokes that made me disappear.

I tore up paintings. 

The key to discovering your uniqueness is to first understand it. Why are you still drawn to the things from your childhood?

Obsessively keep watch over these themes in your life. And use your force, remember. Force these things and incorporate them into your life. Be true to your vision without fear of judgement. Trends change regardless of your attachments.

Hold fast to what you like.

What do I like? My latest Fleur de Mer mermaids are what enliven me to be excited about my next brush stroke. For now, for always. 

XO, Lisa 

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