My work is driven by colour, texture and pattern sometimes observed and sometimes created. There are several themes concurrently at play though all are broadly concerned with the landscape. Many of the paintings, using acrylics on collage, are instinctive and remembered responses to landscapes and landforms using varying degrees of abstraction. This includes an ongoing series of paintings taking an aerial perspective at varying altitudes.My drawings, usually in pastels and charcoal, are either relatively topographical sketches or personal investigations of observed textures and patinas. Recent work in this group includes a celebration of the exuberant graffiti on the walls of Venice and a series based on the wonderfully weathered and neglected doors of Gozo.The finished works vary in size from a few centimetres to quite large and in price from under £100 to around £1000. Some of the work is available as prints and cards.
APPROACH AND TECHNIQUES
Full advantage is taken of chance so that each painting is approached as an adventure rather than a planned journey. Holding a balance between process, materials, and intervention allows the work to take an active role in its own creation.
To achieve the richness of texture and colour associated with the work, I use many techniques more usually associated with etchings and collographs such as collage, wiping, scratching and gauging into the surface to hold the co lour and patinate the surface. Techniques used in paper making, papier mache and the use of stained pulps have been carried over from previous developments within my work over a decade ago. So I draw on an extensive bank of papers including recycled papers as well as papers I have made or prepared by various methods such as painting, mono-printing, photocopying, hand writing and marbling.
I grew up in Cardiff and began my studies at what is now Central St Martins in London. A degree in Art History at Nottingham University was followed by an MA at the Courtauld Institute in London. In my first job as Visual Arts Officer for West Midlands Arts (now ACEWM), I was in contact with a wide range of artists, designers and makers but there was little time for my own practice.
Now, having for years divided my time between college and university lecturing and painting, my own work has finally taken over. Although largely studio based with frequent exhibitions, I also work to commission as well as drawing on my teaching experience to run practical workshops in a variety of venues. Perhaps not surprisingly I often use historical and contemporary examples as a starting point and consider these to be essential sources of stimulation and nourishment.
Lisa Henderson. 2009