Observation and Intuition: A Q&A with artist Lisa Simon

Feb 27, 2017 at 4:55 pm
"Throwing Chairs (would feel so good)" by Lisa Simon
"Throwing Chairs (would feel so good)" by Lisa Simon

Lisa Simon (lisasimonart.com) is a born-and-bred creative. Currently, she’s a resident artist at Kentucky Mudworks and loving it: “This is a really thrilling time for me because I have access to the smartest brains in the clay community and amazing materials and tools. It is definitely helping me step up my ceramic game.”

LEO: What type of artist are you? Lisa Simon: I make art because creative acts allow me to sink into myself, to be quiet and mindful. I am the type of artist that cannot escape being an artist. I am also an educator, because art and art-making communicates ideas and knowledge. It is a universal language, and I believe strongly in the value of art to create effective and engaging educational models and techniques. Why not take advantage if this powerful teaching tool in the classroom?

What type of art are you best known for? I think most people know me as a painter, but I do murals, functional and sculptural ceramics, drawings, mixed media assemblages, and I love to do collaborative projects with children. I made some dolls for a show years ago, and folks still ask me about these.

click to enlarge Lisa Simon
"Mid-Transmogrification" by Lisa Simon

Explain your artistic process. My imagery is a blend of observation, intuition, intent and snafu serendipity. I love to combine materials, like fabric, ceramic and paint. I have given up trying to control a finished piece to fulfill some preconceived vision. I usually let the artwork guide me until it (or a deadline) tells me it is time to step away.

Who is your favorite artist and why? My favorite artists are our Stone Age ancestors that created pictograms and petroglyphs 700,000 years ago, beginning the beautiful continuum of literacy and communication that we enjoy today.

What is something that you want to do that you haven't had the opportunity to do in art? My latest favorite fantasy is to found a sculpture garden/playground graveyard. I know it seems morbid, but who wouldn’t want to rest for all eternity under a Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture that folks can climb on and slide down. It would also be a good double down use of valuable space.

click to enlarge Lisa Simon
"Surrounded by History, the Artist Contemplates her Function" by Lisa Simon