Guest Artist Series: Q&A with Lysa Jordan, My New Favorite Artist
Ok, so I'm REALLY excited about this guest artist. Her name is Lysa, and she is a working artist in Montreal! I'm obsessed with her work - the color palette, the brush strokes, the freedom of the brushwork...I became a huge fan of her when she began using decaying flowers as inspiration for a series. To me, that was the most creative thing and it helped challenge me to be more thoughtful about my subject matter. To be honest, I'm currently exploring green because, even though I used to be scared of using the color, Lysa's work inspired me to try!
Guest Artist Series: Q&A with Lysa Jordan, my new favorite artist.
TAY: For my readers who may not know who you are, will you introduce yourself?
LYSA: My name is Lysa Jordan, I am a french canadian born in Trois-Rivières, now living in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I live with my boyfriend Sergio in a loft close to the canal lachine and a beautiful market. I studied in interior design and in fine art. Apart from art school it is my grandmother who taught me to paint. We would spend hours in her studio, experimenting with just about every medium you can imagine. Thanks to her, painting became my way to experiment, express and create.
TAY: Since I’m a dog mom I immediately noticed Walter on your Instagram feed. Can you tell us a few things you love about him?
LYSA: I am so happy to write about him. Walter is a weimeraner that my boyfriend and I adopted 5 years ago. He is very goofy, always by our side and very sensitive. He is the perfect studio buddy, he makes us walk and laugh everyday. Dogs are truly amazing friends.
TAY: I so agree. Frida is my best friend, haha! Here's a basic one: what is your favorite color?
LYSA: I don’t have a favorite one. Colors are really attached to my feelings and to my moods. I’ve struggled for a long time with red. I found it very difficult to use, but i’m getting more and more comfortable using it.
TAY: I also struggle with red. It can be harsher than I like sometimes. Here’s one of my favorite questions to ask artists: what is your earliest memory of creating?
LYSA: My first memories of creating something are with my sister Evelyne. At a very young age, we loved to play around and create our own world. Drawing characters, dream homes, flowers and trees. We would spend hours outdoors pretending the playground was our home or our restaurant and then go indoors to draw and paint with my mom or dad. These moments are still very clear in my head. I try to remember them often so I don’t forget how amazing it is to be a child.
TAY: One of the things that drew me to your work was its airy freedom. Is that something you are trying to achieve, or are you surprised to hear your work described that way?
LYSA: Freedom is extremely important to me. It is an essential aspect in my work but also in my life. I find it very interesting that you could sense this quest and this thirst for freedom by looking at my work. In my paintings and in my life I am constantly seeking for it.
TAY: I was so inspired by your blog post about creating paintings inspired by the decaying process of flowers. How did this idea come to you?
LYSA: At home we had these beautiful tulips one day. They were beautiful and fresh but then after a few days they started to fall out, their decay process started. I noticed how at first they looked all the same but as the decay process started they were all so different. Their colors were changing, each one was heading towards a different direction creating a very interesting flow and amazing lines. It just got to me. I wanted to explore this.
TAY: I’m personally of the camp that believes that creativity is a habit and that research and practice lead to the best ideas. Other believe more in the concept of the muse, of creativity being a deity that comes to you. Which of these camps do you subscribe to, or rather, what are your beliefs about creativity and your agency?
LYSA: I also believe that creativity is a habit. I think that passion, constance, research and hard work helps us be better creators. When we look at art history, we can notice that artists where completely dedicated to their artwork. I read lately several letters Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo. He worked so hard, he would draw and paint all the time. He had this amazing dedication to his work. We all start somewhere and have to find our way and find what work feels good to experiment.
TAY: I'm so influenced by Van Gogh! They believe he had bipolar disorder, which is what I have. My grandmother also had a significant impact on my life because she was an artist as well. Is there anyone who impacted you in this way?
LYSA: It is the same for me. My grandmother is a huge influence. She is a painter too. She has so much energy and has this amazing way of seeing positivity everywhere. She is unstoppable.
My boyfriend, Sergio Castano, also has and had amazing impact on my life. He is an amazing critic, has this way of energizing me and really brought my career as a painter to another level.
I was at first very shy and did not showcase my work. He brought it out there are gave me so much confidence.
TAY: Please tell us about your influences from art history.
LYSA: My work is mostly influenced by the abstract expressionism movement. The spontaneous and very subconscious pieces brought by that movement are the roots to a lot of abstract painters today. The movement brought us intense emotional work and a new anti-figurative aesthetic. Painters like Helen Frankenthaler have a huge influence in my work. Working on the ground, with thoughts, movement lines and feelings.
TAY: On Instagram there are so many female abstract painters. Do you think that we have a clear influence from the past, (i.e. Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, etc) or do you think we are doing something completely different?
LYSA: I think it depends, some painters have no clue what impressionism is and have never stepped into a museum. They might be influenced by that movement or not. I really can’t answer for them. I feel like there is sometimes a kind of repetition, people are going over movements that have already been very powerful and I think it is the difficult part. Doing something different, moving on and doing something completely new. It’s not easy.
TAY: Many of my readers talk about struggling with finding their voice as an artist. Do you think you have achieved this? What advice do you have for those young artists?
LYSA: I think it’s really important to explore. What I mean is to find your own path. Find what feels good to paint and what doesn’t. Making your work meaningful to you is all that matters, the rest will follow.
TAY: Can you describe a moment in which you felt really proud of your work? This can be a moment of success in your career, a private moment in the studio, anything.
LYSA: I feel really proud when I am connected to my work. When my work feels right, profond and when I truly expressed what I had in mind.
TAY: What’s next for you? What are you currently working on?
LYSA: Painting, drawing & exploring !
TAY: Can you please drop links to where we can find you (insta, pinterest, website, etc)!
Instagram : instagram.com/lysajordan_
Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.ca/lysajordan_
Website : http://www.lysajordan.com/