Dark Surreal Paintings
Queensland based Lisa Adams is a self-taught, realist artist who lives remotely on a bush property in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Working 6 hours a day, 6 days a week in her isolated studio downstairs, she produces surreal paintings depicting arresting views with occasionally improbable imagery. Although a painter for over twenty-five years, she has had only three commercial shows, as a result of her slow rate of production. Despite painting daily, she may produce only three or four paintings in a year, five during her most prolific years. It takes months to produce a single painting. Often, she would overpaint an image two or three times to get it right.
In 2009, Lisa Adams began to suffer from “a bad bout of RSI”, a product of painting with “fingers pinched around a paintbrush” every day for twenty years. But some three years later, after making modifications to her brushes and her chair, and learning to have short breaks, she is back to painting six hours a day.
Adams’ painstaking approach begins with a very clear mental image of the painting, which she then tries to represent on canvas. She works from detailed photographic references, preferring her own photos, often acting as a model herself, shot by her photographer husband Kim Guthrie. This is very evident from the women in her paintings that bear an unmistakable resemblance to her.
When it proves difficult or impossible for her to access and photograph a subject, she hunts out references, spending days trawling through electronic media archives, libraries and bookshops.
“I never paint from just one photograph”, she says, “it sometimes takes hundreds of separate sources.”
"Lisa Adams creates images that are often unsettling, sometimes melancholy or by turns uplifting, but always affecting and richly atmospheric. The scale on which she works affords her involved and tightly realised paintings an intimacy that echoes the personal nature of so much of the subject matter. Indeed, she explores grand emotions on a humble scale so that the very act of looking at her paintings is a revelatory and ultimately rewarding experience."
Alison Kubler, 2004 (Curator, Public Programs QUT Art Museum)
|On the scent|
|Ship of fools|
|Lovers in fog|
|The big handicap|
|Wolf in sheep´s clothing|
|Heaven and Hell|