October 08, 2019

Photographed by Andy Staley


STUDIO VISIT

Lisa Morgan is a landscape artist who paints her experiences freely on canvas telling a detailed and intricate story about the places she has been. Lisa’s paintings can be soft and floaty or sometimes slightly more graphic, creating a feeling or moment in time, expressing herself in a playful, open and abstract manner.



Q.

Where are you from?

A.

I was born in New Zealand and came to Noosa in 1997. My family have a long association with the coast, and I had been visiting for 20 years prior, quite often. My stepfather had the lease of Old Woman Island at Mudjimba Island in the late 60s and built a little house on it, which is now of historical importance. So, my link to the Sunshine Coast is a strong one.

Q.

What inspired you to start painting? How many years have you been painting for?

A.

My mother was a graduate artist from the Elam School of Arts in New Zealand and we were always surrounded by art, pottery and sculpture. My stepfather of 30 years was a craftsman, an inventor and also an amazing potter and sculptor so there was inspiration everywhere I looked growing up.

I dabbled in painting in my early years but then went on with my husband to train as a potter with Jim Nelson in the South Island, New Zealand and after that we had a pottery workshop/outlet in Rotorua for many years. I put art on hold while the children were growing, concentrating first on a window dressing business and then an Italian gourmet food business. I returned to painting around 20 years ago and full-time painting 10 years ago.

Q.

Highlight of your artists career?

A.

Being invited to take part in the first regional ART + CLIMATE = CHANGE group show outside of regional Victoria at the Noosa Regional Gallery this year.  

Q.

Your go to local coffee spot?

A.

I have a few favourites and like to mix it up – Flying West Coffee Roasters, Belmondos, Costa, Vanilla Food, Padre, Moto, Canteen, Hand of Fatima – we are spoiled for choice in Noosa!

Q.

Who are your favourite artists?

A.

There are so many it is difficult to know which to include. Here are a few:

Pierre Bonnard for colour and composition

The mysterious works of Odilon Redon

Klimt, a master of pattern and shapes

Guy Grey Smith and William Robinson, John Olsen, Robert Juniper, Elisabeth Cummings, Sally Gabori, Helen Frankenthaler, Joshua Yeldham, Gareth Sansom, Richard Diebenkhorn, Lee Krasner, William and Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Arthur Dove, John Wolseley, Suzanne Archer, Jan Sluijters, Colin Lanceley, John Pule, Colin McCahon – the list could go on forever!!!



“MY WORK NOW HAS EVOLVED TO BECOME A STORYTELLING OF TIME SPENT OBSERVING AND DETAILING REMEMBERED NARRATIVE FROM DAILY SOJOURNS AND TRIPS.”

LISA MORGAN






Q.

Favourite Sunshine Coast beach?

A.

I guess it has to be Sunshine Beach – my home beach.

Q.

How has your work evolved over time?

A.

My work over the last 15 years or so has been about remembered times in landscape. It is intuitive and open to whatever way I wish to express it on canvas given the day, the week or however I feel. In the early years, I was interested in figurative painting, especially of Island women – I spent quite a few years painting tropical island life. On our move to the Sunshine Coast I was immediately captivated by how different my daily landscape was, the light and vibrancy of the Coast. I began a journey of discovering things that were new, or at least they were to me. My work now has evolved to become a storytelling of time spent observing and detailing remembered narrative from daily sojourns and trips.

Q.

What is the creative process behind your work?

A.

It is more the idea of opening a door, inviting images to come in than the idea of trying to say something in a certain way. Usually the development of a painting and each small piece of that painting functions as a tiny universe with many marks, shapes and forms coexisting together. It is a constant search to move these elements around so there is balance, tension and equilibrium. I love a quote from Jackson Pollock "it doesn't make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said. Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement “, I have no real technique; I rely on immediate mark making and then sometimes the complete opposite – long periods of tilting my work every which way until another avenue opens up to me.

Q.

When you aren’t painting how do you spend your time?

A.

It is difficult not to enjoy nature here in Noosa, so walking the many wonderful places we are lucky to have is a favourite leisure activity. I have also practised yoga daily for 25 years, which is an integral part of my life. I love cooking and reading but of late have adored becoming a grandmother for the first time to two beautiful babies – spending time with them is now my favourite place to be.

Q.

What is your style of painting? How would you best describe your style?

A.

My style of painting has always been instinctive allowing time and place and the current mood to contribute to what ends up on canvas. It is very difficult to articulate and sometimes sounds ridiculous art snob talk, but this is the best way I can describe it. I endeavour not to have pre-conceived ideas, stepping off from the known into the unknown is an exciting place to be. I am still interested in landscape as a subject but slightly more abstracted. My work is not oriented to deal with specific themes in landscape rather it is about a feeling, a moment in time.