Near and Far | Part 1

Hello friends and art lovers,

It’s so nice to be in touch again and share some news. Have your summer days been full and productive? Or perhaps restful and relaxing? Either way, I hope it’s been an enjoyable time for you.

The buildings above are study in line, repetition, and hard edge vs organic “brush strokes.” Through a very lucky turn of events, this is one of the many scenes I have visited in the past few weeks — scenes that are new to me and that are informing how the colours shift in my palette.

“Where are you, Lisa?” you might be asking. Here’s a clue: my location is approximately 8000 km east of Vancouver.

Near and Far
These days I am in Basel, Switzerland, soaking up the colours and light, wandering through neighbourhoods and markets, and biking along city streets and country lanes. There is so much that I am experiencing and translating into paintings, especially the concepts of near and far as they apply to experience, ideas, and scale of observation. I am far from home but near to extended family; far from my regular routine but near to my experience of translating (painting) observations onto surfaces; and far from the familiar but near to embracing new sights and sounds. Even the Swiss road signs play on this theme, listing the farthest destinations before the nearest ones (opposite to the way we do it back home).

I’m a student again! Each morning I attend German language lessons. I’m making baby steps in feeling, understanding, and speaking the language with the people I meet. Coincidentally, I am currently reading one of Amy Tan’s works, Where the Past Begins, and reflecting on her love of language. I’m especially empathizing with the tales of her Chinese-speaking mother’s attempts to communicate in English—I now know exactly how it feels to try to speak a language without having the proficiency to be nuanced or able to weave words together with skill and artistry. It’s a challenge not being able to translate thoughts into words. But at the same time, it’s wonderful to use my brain this way. I’m enjoying learning a new language even more than I thought I would. Maybe I’ll even study other languages in the future…?

Lunch is a special highlight of each day. I usually sit along the Rhine and enjoy a view like the one above. Around me are students, business people, shoppers, and coffee drinkers…everyone is out to enjoy the sun, lounge by the river, and take a civilized and leisurely lunch hour. There is bocce nearby and lots of fountains for cooling down.

After lunch, I bike to my temporary art studio and pour my experiences onto canvas and paper. I’m preparing for an exhibition here in Basel in August. If, by any chance you’re in neighbourhood, or have friends and family nearby, I’d be delighted to welcome you.

near and far | nah und weit
Exhibition Vernissage (opening) Aug 16th  
Space Grotesk
Erlenstrasse 81
4058 Basel, 
Exhibition runs Aug 16–Sept 1, 2019

Best wishes for your summer,

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