Monday, October 28, 2013
Interview with Artist Lisa GoeslingAn Exquisite Interplay of Elements that Tell A Story
Interview by Renée PhillipsArtwork is copyright protected by the artist. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artist’s permission.
Lisa Goesling creates art that is etched out of Black Scratchboard. It is influenced by her strong sense of design, paying close attention to the interplay of shapes, textures, contrast, line, and the focus or ‘story’ of each piece. She is one of six artists awarded a two year Artist’s Residency through the Merchandise Mart and the Chicago Artist’s Coalition. She is a juried artist with Illinois State Museum/Illinois Artisan’s where her art is exhibited in three of their galleries.
That’s not all. Goesling was awarded three top awards through Manhattan Arts International’s “Celebrate the Healing Power of ART” juried competition. Her artwork, “Inside of an Iris” was given an Award of Excellence, a Jill Conner Critic’s Choice Award, and the Ampersand Art Materials Award. More recently, in our “Art that Lifts Our Spirits” Ampersand once again chose her art to receive their special featured artist award. Suffice it to say her extraordinary artistic abilities continuously receive accolades.
A one-person exhibition of her art “Just Scratching the Surface” is currently on view at Envision Art Gallery, 3020 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL, through November 10, 2013.
As one of the many admirers of Lisa Goesling’s talent it gives me tremendous pleasure to present this interview with her.
Eremurus, etched out of black claybord by Ampersand, and colored inks, 12″x12″. Winner of the Ampersand Art Award in Manhattan Arts International “Art that Lifts Our Spirits”.
RP: Lisa, when did you first become interested in art and why?
LG: Art is ingrained in me. My father was a trained baritone, as well as an attorney, and my mother was a fashion illustrator. I am always singing while creating!
RP: Beyond your family providing the genes and nurturing who or what most influences your chosen style?
I would have to say that the ancient art of Asia is my hugest influence. Gong-bi means “meticulous” in Chinese. By strategically placing brushstrokes and deep colors on a page, detailed stories were told through fine art. Japanese artist Tawaraya Sotatsu of the Edo period, (early 17th century) was influenced by the Chinese. He created detailed scenes of nature on screens that were both functional and beautiful. Tawaraya was known for his repetition of lines and contours creating movement throughout his art.
“Inside of an Iris” appears on the gift box and the book cover, for “Transatlantic” by Colum McCann.
RP: What current art work or art project are you working on?
LG: I create seven days a week and generally have about six pieces going at the same time. When one becomes too overwhelming, I take a break and tackle something new. (Unless I am working on a commission, of course.) I just finished working on six 3D vases with hand painted drawings across the surface. Those will go into a show in November. I am currently working on my largest Scratchbord to date, 30”x60”, the working title is “Orchid on Steroids”.
RP: Your commitment to your art is admirable. It is no surprise that you won special awards in two Manhattan Arts International juried competitions. What do you consider to be the best and/or most accurate comment you have received about your art?
LG: The one word that I hear most to describe my art is, Exquisite.
RP: Lisa, what do you consider to be the most unique aspects about your art that distinguish it from any other art today?
LG: Most people are intrigued by the details, which begin by my studying nature with a magnifying glass. I tend to break everything down into shapes. How does each element work together to create the whole?
My art is often confused with photography or prints from etchings. I spend a lot of time educating people about my medium, Scratchbord. While we’ve all dabbled with them when we were young, creating my art on boards covered in porcelain clay and India ink hopefully elevates Scratchbord to a completely different level.
I love the delicacy of the details and the dimension developed by layering line over line. One minute I am etching away at the ink, and the next my image magically appears in the clay.
RP: Living in Chicago you have access to great art exhibitions. What artist, work of art or exhibition has had the most significant impact on you and why?
LG: An inspiring exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, called “Awash in Color: French and Japanese Prints” was filled with so much detail and form. It was evident how both cultures were influenced by each other through the beautiful woodblock prints. The Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition, “Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity” tells the story about how art both influences and is influenced by the world around us. Through the eyes of Caillebotte, Degas, Manet Renoir and Seurat, we see the beauty that inspired them to create.
RP: What advice do you like to offer to an aspiring artist?
LG: Keep trying. I think the biggest difference between a successful artist and one who isn’t, is that the former never gives up. If they don’t get into a show, they pick themselves up and try again. And most importantly, they keep at it. The more art they create, the better their creations. Taking responsibility for our lives and recognizing how fortunate we are to be artists is key.
RP: What advice can you offer a first-time art buyer or aspiring collector?
LG: You hear it all of the time, but you must be inspired by the art/artist. The art should speak to you, and keep speaking. I still hear from people who have bought my art. They tell me that no matter what kind of day they have had, they pass my art on their wall and it makes them feel good.
RP: What upcoming exhibition(s) do you have scheduled for 2013 and/or 2014?
LG: Just Scratching the Surface – Solo Exhibition – Envision Art Gallery, 3020 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL, through November 10, 2013.
Cook County Law Library 50th Anniversary at the Chicago Daley Center, through March 2014. My art is on display at the 29th floor Law Gallery, 50 W. Washington Street, Chicago, IL
Streeterville Artisan Market, Chicago 2013, November 9 – November 10, 2013. Selected to show art at Northwestern University’s Lurie Center, 303 E. Superior Street, Chicago, IL
Beauty and the Beast, Swedish Covenant Hospital, February 1 – 28, 2014, a two-person exhibition with artist Len Upin at the Swedish Covenant Art Gallery, 5140 N. California Avenue, Chicago, IL
View “Artist to Artist” Interview on Cable TV, an interview and demonstration of Lisa Goesling’s art with host Enid Silvermanhttp://vimeo.com/65342171
Visit Lisa Goesling’s website: www.lisagoesling.com
Read a Featured Artist article about Lisa Goesling by Karyn Meyer-Berthel on the Ampersand Art website
To work like Lisa has to do with this medium, is a constant leap of faith, to let go of judgement while working and create, a profoundly difficult thing to achieve as an artist in the moment.
But once she starts there is no going back, only forward exposing the image, as if in a subtractionist method — if she were sculpting. Just thrilling, I am truly blown away by the skill and the control, and the vast freedom that is seen as the images are exposed
Best to you, Lisa. To, the woman with few fears I would imagine, yay again for woman, and our strength to persevere with such grace.best, warmest wishes,Shray BronzeUSA, recipient ‘Five Rings Award”Beijing Olympics-for the arts
firstname.lastname@example.orgAward winning international master bronze sculptor, Shray: Creating Amazing Bronze Sculptures…International Master Bronze Sculptor, Shray is one of the few working sculptors today who employs the rare Subtractionist technique for creating amazing bronze sculptures.
5-23-13 Lisa Goesling’s Art and Biography have been included into the “Chicago Artists Archive”. Selected art documents have been saved, printed and preserved for art historical research purposes. For over forty years artists have been chosen to have their art included into the program. They will be housed at the Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago, IL.
Illinois State Museum Society Artist: Lisa Goesling
Just like each piece of artwork has a story to tell, so does each artist. This is the first of a series of interviews with just a few of the 1,800 artisans in the Illinois Artisans Program. Earlier this summer, I spoke with scratch board Artisans Lisa Goesling of Palatine, IL on her decision to pursue art, her battle with cancer, and her reflections on having a family.
Growing up Lisa Goesling was surrounded by art. Her parents were both creative and collected art. They would travel around Europe bringing back precious art, some so small that Goesling would examine them under a magnifying glass. Goesling’s mother was a fashion illustrator and her father was a trained baritone as well as an attorney. While Lisa wanted to choose a fine art career, her parents steered her towards a more secure major, graphic design.
For 30 years Goesling worked creating campaigns, designing brochures, and books, all the while painting and drawing. In 2006 a cancer diagnosis pushed her to focus just on her art practice: “There are no guarantees in the art world. I took a giant leap six years ago. This has been the most intense concentration on my art. And I love it. I wish my dad was around to see it.”
During her cancer treatment Goesling discovered scratchboards, appealing because it is non-toxic and transportable. Scratchboards are coated with a layer of porcelain and then covered in ink. A metal stylus is used to etch away the black layer with detailed lines to create depth. While Goesling was going through treatment people kept sending her flowers, and she began noticing their amazing beauty.
“I’m not a religious person, but looking at the flowers I knew there must be a God. The texture and forms in the flowers are truly breathtaking!”
Working with extreme precision and detail in a media where one can’t erase, Goesling breaks down form into the smallest lines, isolating features and textures.
“I am sitting here looking at a bunch of dandelions. Drawn, they are a bunch of stars floating off the page. In this medium, simple is just not that interesting to me. I like to concentrate on something that will challenge me with loads of details. I have too many ideas. Every day I think, OK, I am here. How can I be productive today? I am not obsessive about it, but I do embrace how precious life is.”
Often Goesling is working on up to 6 pieces at a time at different stages of completion, she diligently spends between 3 and 8 hours daily in the studio.
Preferring to work with the actual specimen, Goesling has plants at various stages of drying throughout her studio. She laughed as she described collecting milkweed and other botanics from the side of the road while her 89 year old Mother-In-Law sat watching her from the car, it happens fairly often. Before the object wilts Goesling will take several photos of it to work from, just in case they should die before she has completed her art. She is currently working on several large projects: a collaboration with a furniture artist as well as a grid of 12 pieces 8×8” in size.
In addition to a studio practice, Goesling frequently conducts workshops with cancer and pain management patients at Swedish Covenant. It is a powerful experience for Goesling as well as the participants in the workshops. “It is not something I can do all the time. The stories I hear…I am not a therapist…it is larger than the art. One of the cancer patients said to me: You did a whole lot more with your cancer than I do with mine!”
Lisa Goesling also added her advice to other artists: “I have so many different opinions. One of the issues I have is people thinking it is cool to be a starving artist. It doesn’t do any of us any favors. We need to take ourselves seriously, and everyone else will. What we do has value.”
After speaking with Goesling at length about her work, she sent me this insight:
I keep thinking about what else I would have added to my interview. I guess the one thing that came to mind is that while some artists only want to concentrate on their art and not lead a life that might get in the way of that. I found that for me, having a family along with so many life experiences, have enriched my art, not taken away from it. I don’t feel the angst that a lot of artists express through their art. And I don’t work hard at finding the meaning of life, I feel like I already found it.
Designers and artists mix at the Merchandise Mart
Jodie Jacobs 1-21-12 Chicago Art Exhibits Examiner
Art aficionados listen up. Sure, it’s fun to discover a gallery not on everyone’s radar. It’s also interesting to see artists at work. Up on the 15th floor at the Merchandise Mart you can do both.
In Studio 1562, six artists whose output has made it into galleries and shows around town are painting, etching, drawing and using multi-media to create works for their next exhibitions.
The space became available as a juried-in residency about two years ago thanks to a partnership of the Chicago Artists Coalition (think Hatch Projects’ and Bolt Residency’s West Loop galleries and Art Loop Open) and the Merchandise Mart.
The studio was originally called “Works on Paper,” according to CAC Executive Director Carolina Jayaram. She points out that the space dictated the size and materials used.
“We couldn’t allow toxic chemicals because of limitations of space and in respect for other tenants,” says Jayaram. She explains the space became available to CAC about two years ago as a six month renewable lease.
“It has far exceeded our expectations and time line. It’s been a great partnership all around,” says Jayaram.
What visitors will see near the entrance of Studio 1562 are works by the following artists: Lisa Goesling, Mark Moleski, Alexandra Lee, Jaime Lynn Henderson, Zach Mory and Barb Blacharczyk.
A Palatine artist who said goodbye to publishing and advertising to follow her passion, Lisa Goesling, likes working alongside artists.
“It’s a perfect fit,” she says. “I love the idea of sharing space with five other artists.”
She also likes having studio space in the Merchandise Mart.
“I love being in the Mart. It’s an iconic building,” Goesling says. “The other showrooms love having us there. They say that we bring great energy to the Mart. We’re amongst designers who really appreciate our art. People from all walks of life visit our space.” she says.
Visitors who stop by will see her black clay boards so finely etched in naturalistic patterns they resemble artistic photography negatives. Other boards have added touches of colored inks. Goesling is currently exploring photography, mixed media and turning a volcanic ash mix into such objects as pussy willows.
Her choice of materials resulted from needing something artistic to occupy her while undergoing cancer treatments.”I needed an outlet and I needed something portable,” she says.
A former art director and graphic designer who studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago, illustration at the Chicago Academy of Fine arts and majored in Communication and Graphic Design at Northern Illinois University, Goesling wanted to do something different.
“I did not want to do advertising anymore. I wanted to create my own art,” she says.
Fear No Art – by Sawyer J Lahr – October 18, 2011
With one more week of Chicago Artists Month, there are so many gallery openings and ongoing exhibits to see including Ray Noland’s “Let Them Eat Cro” exhibition (through Oct 28, 2011), this week’s post focuses on the artists selected for the Merchandise Artists in Residence Program (through Oct 31 2011) sponsored by the Chicago Artists Coalition. This program is meant to “help create a new audience of supporters and collectors for the resident artists” through the CAC’s mission of making art viable i.e. a source of income.
These artists share common threads by their use of etching and line (Lisa Goesling, andZachary Mory) to create movement, form, negative and positive space, and impressionistic color rather than literal transposition. One artists collage work (Mark Moleski) converts everyday inorganic objects into more familiar forms while photos from another artist’s native land refer to the politics of capitalism and western modernity on gender, justice, and tradition in Chinese culture (Alexandra Lee). See the art in action on vimeo.com/29099537
Life-long artist, Goesling’s experience in drawing, painting, sculpture, and graphic design all find their way into her sensual portraits of ornamental flowers. Where as the subject could feel shallow outside of a greenhouse, Goesling’s Composition of A Coleus (pictured right) is etched on Black Claybord, porcelain clay covered with India ink. Goesling says “I don’t use pencils, only the etching tool that etches out the layer of India Ink. The image appears in the bottom layer of porcelain clay on the black board. I can add colored inks at the very end.” The effect appears pencil drawn but has a living, breathing sculpturesque dimension emphasized by the black backgrounds, creating a positive and negative space rarely seen in life surrounding florals. Her art directing and public relations has helped make hers and her colleagues art marketable. Lisa has presented her work in galleries throughout the Chicago area, Los Angeles, Texas, Wisconsin, and the Merchandise Mart. A full portfolio of her work can be found at www.lisagoesling.com.
Sixty Inches From Center – Just Scratching the Surface: Lisa Goesling
Posted by Nicolette Caldwell on Oct 29, 2010
Lisa Goesling another artist in the Chicago Artist Coalition residency program has managed to literally create new meaning pertaining to how art fits into her life and career. Her seemingly microscopic scratchboards illustrate a variety of flowers and plant life that contrast equally the negative and positive black and white space. She illustrates such fragile and delicate images with such an abrasive technique.
We had a short conversation and Lisa mentioned to me how the residency opportunity has given her the opportunity to really explore her artistic talent in a new direction. After listening to what Lisa had to say I now realize that it truly is amazing how art affects individuals differently.
“I am an artist here and I am one of the lucky people to get to walk up to the Merchandise Mart every day and walk to the art space and be able to create. I feel unbelievably grateful to have this opportunity it came on the heals of my having cancer. That is how I started with the medium I use, which is scratchboard. They were portable and I could bring them to treatment. It would take my mind off of things and I fell in love with the way the light hits the line work I create and the way the composition is against black and white.
In addition to doing these, I also create design on fabric. I feel the more things I have my fingers in with my art the more fun it is for me. My artwork is in several galleries and design studios now. It has just been an unbelievable turn of events. I used to be an art director, graphic designer, public relations director but all I really ever wanted to do was my own art.”
We will see more from Lisa in the future. Keep posted as her work continues at the residency for another six months. I will be heading back to capture a full audio interview with Lisa in the next couple of weeks.
Works on Paper at the Chicago Artist Coalition Gallery
Jessica Kronika – Chicago Fine Arts Examiner October 21, 2010
The Chicago Artist Coalition and the Merchandise Mart have created a space for artists. The Works on Paper Artist Residency is a fifteenth floor space where works in progress and ongoing exhibits coexist. The ongoing exhibit at Suite 1562, at the Merchandise Mart, features the works of the six artists in residence. Each approaches the idea of working on paper with a different approach. Inara Cedrins documents signature architecture in linoleum block printing. Lisa Goesling works in Black Claybord inspired by the minute details of plant structures. Jamie Lynn Henderson explores commercial stereotypes and the fussy details of femininity with her mixed media works. Alexandra Lee works in handmade paper sculptures, exploring elements of cultural mysticism. Zach Morey works in graphite with intricate details and abstract patterns. Mark Moleski works in india ink and collage, exploring silhouettes and themes such as politics and perceptions of media. Through these varied points of view, the resident artists share their current work.
Lisa Goesling creates a realm of intimacy with the plants in Black Claybords. With a delicacy she handles the value of leaves and flowers through linear textures. The subtle hints of color and lines build luminous and lyrical compositions within the dark background of the scratchboard. She began her romance with flora years ago with paint.
Fear No Art – Art & Artists by John Coyle Steinbrunner
August 20th, 2010
The Work on Paper Residency is located in Mart space 1562. Hours are – well, I still don’t know those, but go during the work week and you should be fine. The residency is housed in a vacant showroom casually divided into a front gallery and six workstations in an open-plan space.
Lisa Goesling’s Black Claybords of floral compositions have a Dürer-esque level of detail and care. The residency is a good show and I’m glad it’s a little hidden; it’s worth the searching. For those interested in process, it’s there. If you have to know why, the artist is there to discuss it. If you just like poking around in someone else’s stuff (and who doesn’t?) you can do that too. And if you want to see a cross-section of how six Chicago artists take a common medium and run with it, you’ll most definitely get your fill.
– John Coyle Steinbrunner