Lisa Blas

Lisa Blas
Dawn studio

7 June to 16 July, 2022

Open Studio, Saturday 16 July, 1 to 4 pm
Artist Lisa Blas will lead a dawn painting workshop at Lough Hyne, followed by tea and discussion at Uillinn on Thursday 28 July at 5.00am. Booking through eventbrite here:

During my residency, I will create a site-specific portrait of Southwest Ireland in painting. Beginning with visits to local archives and museum collections, I will research Irish landscape painting from the nineteenth century to the present. I am particularly interested in visual depictions of weather events that illuminate a changing geography, brought on by modern industrialization. I will consult Skibbereen’s local newspaper, The Southern Star, for articles and photographic source material on climate change. These aforementioned observations will serve as the point of departure for new paintings that I will commence in the studio at Uillinn.

Since March 2020, amidst the shelter-in-place mandate due to the global pandemic, I have concentrated my artistic interest in the concept of the oculus, a portal of light connecting interior space to the outer environment. The shape emerged for me as I undertook Dawn Studio, an ongoing daily painting practice I commence at sunrise everyday. The paintings are made on mid-sized watercolor paper and aquaboard panels using watercolor, iridescent pigment, metallic ink and gouache.

In these early morning hours, I begin by looking out the windows at the changing light and color over the horizon and Hudson river: a meeting of sky and water that dramatically shifts through the seasons and weather. These views create afterimages – residues of the morning light that remain in my eyes – that inform the paintings I make. Using fluid brushwork amid pools of color, I create curvilinear shapes with a glowing lacuna at the center. This gap, which I identify as an oculus, is an interior space that oscillates, attempting to merge with its surroundings. Its center is unstable, like the eye of a hurricane that changes shape or direction suddenly. These forms hover between abstraction and representation, yet refer distinctly to place.

Biography: Lisa Blas is a visual artist of Guamanian descent working in painting, photography and installation. Utilizing sources in art history, newspapers and the environment, she produces abstractions that speak to the fragility of the natural world. Such research led to the creation of her weekly RSS feed, "Monday's image", pairings of the front pages of newspapers with artworks from museum collections. Dawn Studio, an ongoing series of paintings commenced during the pandemic of 2020, was published in Effects Journal, March 2021. Blas has exhibited nationally and internationally, and currently teaches at The New York Academy of Art. Blas lives and works in New York.

Instagram: @lisablas_studio
Twitter: @lisablas
Facebook: Lisa Blas


Images: Lisa Blas, 06 | 05 | 21, 6:02 am, Watercolor, metallic ink, dye-based ink and gouache on watercolor paper, 12 x 12 inches, 2021
Lisa Blas, Dawn studio, installation view, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, 2021, Paintings on watercolor paper and canvas, Dimensions variable. Left and Center: Watercolor, metallic ink, dye-based ink, and gouache on 24 sheets of watercolor paper, 9 x 12 inches each
, 2020 - 2021. Right: Acrylic and interference paint on canvas, 30 x 24 inches each, 2021


WCAC acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Cork County Council in making these residencies possible.

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