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Lisa Schonberg

Artist Statement

As a visual artist, I use life experience and phenomena in the natural environment as sources of inspiration.  The simplest details in the trajectory of a falling leaf or the windowpane patterns in a mayfly wing, for example, can catch my eye as being something worthy of contemplation and reverence. Artists can take on many approaches in their work. I don’t make art that merely records what I see.  I am mostly interested in giving credence to new ways of thinking and feeling about our world.  For me making art is about celebrating nature and contemplating our connections to it while hopefully communicating a sense of awe, mystery and peacefulness.

I explore image making by combining various different printmaking processes such as relief, intaglio, monoprinting and screen-printing to create one-of-a-kind prints or variable editions. My prints evoke a respect for nature and include such phenomena as water flow, earth formations, abstract and tangled foliage along with other natural patterned and textured ephemera.  At times, my prints are about places I’ve visited and elicit an emotional impression of that particular natural environment.  I am inspired by the multitude of patterns and textures associated with these places and the shadows and colors that draw me in for a closer look. 

The process of making prints is as much a part of the content as the subject matter and forms I have chosen.  I have an insatiable desire to be working and experimenting with both traditional and unconventional materials.  Layering imagery, using several different kinds of matrices and overlapping prints is an important part of my practice. Through the process of printing, layering and the manipulation of a variety of materials, I develop ideas and try to create unique outcomes, which are sometimes quite different than what I had originally planned for.  I have to be making prints to truly develop the imagery and ideas.  The materials and processes are an integral part of this development.

The images I have included with this proposal are some of my latest explorations inspired by the patterns on earth, wind and ocean current maps and even from patterns found on the inside of a security envelope.  I also utilize patterns found in nature and on everyday objects that resemble things from the natural world.  I love starting with visual patterns or textures and turning them into something other than what they are or what their original function is.  In these prints, landscape vistas are suggested but not my main intention.  By repeating the patterns and heightening the expanse and scale of the prints, specifically in the 3 horizontal “mural-like” large prints titled, Earth Vista, Wind Event and Water Current, Hot Zone, I am trying to create an experience for the viewer, that when viewed close up, encourages deeper contemplation.  In addition, I have included a series of monoprints titled Beach Musings that are images of places I have visited that have left an emotional impression on me as being not only beautifully stunning but also cathartic at the same time.

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