Today's Friday Feature Artist is Lisa Ferrante. She is a self-taught mixed media artist, a wife, and a mother.
Once she discovered mixed media years of feelings about her life literally began to flow from her hands and from her heart. Initially she found herself expressing long suppressed feelings about her mother who died when she was 5 years old. Intimately woven in are her passionate feelings about her own two baby girls and how mothering them finally allowed her to work through the pain of the absence of her own mom while celebrating every moment of their young lives.
Each piece represents another step in her evolution as a woman. As the themes have evolved from the worship of a goddess mother she never knew to her love for her girls, the loves of soul sisters and romantic love for her husband she has learned to love and accept herself for the first time in her life.
Hi Lisa, thank you so much for being today's Friday Feature artist. I am so excited to have you here on my blog. I just want to tell the readers how I found you....we were in an on-line class together and I saw one of Lisa's art pieces and was immediately drawn to it. The art piece that I saw made me think so much of my 11 year old niece who lost her mom to brain cancer last year. When I went to Lisa's website I discovered that she also lost her mom at a young age and I had one of those moments when you wonder if you were brought together for a reason. I reached out to Lisa and told her about my niece and how last Thanksgiving my niece and I made art together and I could see how freeing it was for her. Lisa was kind enough to not only respond to my rambling message but also offered to send my niece a print. So I am so excited to be able to spotlight her and her art today as I think she AND her art will be so inspirational to others.
So Lisa, I read that you describe yourself as a "self-taught artist". Does that mean you did not go to traditional art school and if so how did you learn your beautiful craft?
I wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember but art school didn't appeal to me(I don't like rules very much)it didn't seem right for me. I felt like i'd have to waste so much precious time taking classes that didn't interest me but I decided to see for myself so I took a few art classes at the local college, I was right, it wasn't for me. I must say that I have the upmost respect for those artist's who have chosen that path but I decided I'd be an artist anyway right now, not in 5 or 6 years but right now. I took some online classes from artists that I really enjoyed like Suzi Blu and Misty Mawn and learned some of the basics and the rest just sort of came out of me. You see you decide, it's your journey, you create the life you want. It's not about finding out who we are, it's about creating and becoming who we want to be! It actually happens the minute you change your perspective, the moment you realize that it's really that easy. Be right now who you've always wanted to be. I promise you'll thank yourself for the rest of your life.
On many of your art pieces you use inspirational words? Why? And how do you choose them?
I do use inspirational words on almost all of my pieces. Usually the words are what inspires the painting in the first place. I had a difficult time as a child expressing my feelings and always struggled with anxiety. This led me to really try to find positive ways to release and work through alot of pain and repressed feelings. I've come so far and I would love to help inspire others who are struggling to realize that it will be okay, better than okay beautiful even!
I know you lost your mom at a young age, has art helped you through the grieving process and if so, how?
Absolutely! I've only been painting for a few years now and it all started with me wanting to create with my little girls, you see my Mom died when I was five. This led to many years of imagining and sort of creating the mom I wished I could have had. I would imagine this playful, loving, silly mom who loved nothing more than spending time with me. I was not fortunate enough to have this but I was fortunate enough to realize that I could be that mother to my little girls. Originally all of my paintings where of mothers and children because that is where the healing was needed. Such long suppressed feelings literally came pouring out of me. I am so grateful for this gift of art! My love for my daughters and my love for art they have both transformed me in ways I never thought possible. I am a completely different person than I was 10 years ago, I can't wait to see who I become in 10 years from now!
Take us through a typical day for you.
I'm not a very structured person so i'm not sure I have such a thing as a typical day! I've learned to embrace the sort of ebb and flow of creativity. At first I had this idea in my head that I needed to schedule in painting time and be productive and that just led to constant pressure and disappointment. I like to believe that my art comes through me rather than from me. I've learned to trust this process and sometimes i'll paint all day, sometimes not at all! Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night and paint until morning, it comes when it's ready and i'm okay with that.
Do you ever get "blocked"? What do you do to get the creative juices going again?
I do get blocked and it used to scare me. I remember thinking what if that's it, what if I have nothing left to give. It almost always happens right after a creative explosion. I'll find myself making like six or seven paintings in a row and then nothing! It's like all of the feelings that needed to be purged were and I have nothing left. When you get blocked you just have to go with it and do something else like write or play with your babies it will come back to you, it has to it's part of who you are.
You use mixed media for your art work, what is it you like about mixed media and what are your favorite supplies to use?
I am so in love with mixed media art because as i've said before i'm a very spontaneous unstructured girl. It's total freedom with endless possibilities! Some of my favorite supplies to use are inks (i'm a bit obsessed) I love to drip them all over. I also love oil pastels, I really like to smudge them and add them to a painted face for some more texture and depth.
Where do you hope to see yourself and your art in 5 years?
In five years I would love to open up my own little art school called 'The Bohemian Mermaid's School of Art' (my daughters came up with that name to describe me and i love it!) I would really like to concentrate on working with teenage girls to help them find a positive way to express themselves and to heal whatever their struggles may be through art.
Last question.....What do you know to be true?
What I know to be true is that love really is everything! Everyone everywhere wants to give love and be loved. It really is all that matters!
Thank you so much Lisa!! Your art is truly brilliant in color and meaning and I think we all benefited from hearing your thoughts on life and art.
To see more of Lisa's art please visit her website and Etsy site:
I encourage you to send one of her prints to someone in your life that could use a little "pick me up"; I know my niece will be getting her print any day now and just knowing that it will put a smile on her face brightens my day.
Have a great weekend!!!