Lisa Holley- Fine Artist/Botanical Illustrator
Illustrating botanicals became a passion of mine after studying the works of 16th century artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Drawing plants, flowers and insects, involving the viewer in another dimension of thought, is a challenge during the creation. It is fascinating for me to observe the reactions people have to the finished work.
When I was asked if my studio was “full of dead bugs” I was curious as to why anyone would think that. I view my “collection” as specimens for continuing life, to study and paint them to live forever as drawings, not as “dead”.
Extensive world travel has developed A myriad of ideas and new approaches toward botanical art which stimulate each piece I create. Exploring different techniques with old and new mediums is an adventure. When the expressive lines in nature are added it’s an endless field of visual exploration.
The “You Are What You Eat” series involves extensive research and creative planning. When I view the finished work I smile remembering the particular experiences I have had in exploring and drawing each study. The finished piece has it’s own evolution and a history in my mind’s eye.
Translating clients’ verbal requests into visual actuality requires discipline in intellectual and artistic challenges into which I enjoy immersing myself. Commissioned works initiate new avenues of thought, as in the “Dow Jones Chart, 1980-1990”. In order to create a botanical piece applicable to a financial institution, I arranged the day lilies to loosely outline the Dow Jones chart for the decade. The dead day lily represents “Blue Monday”, 1987. The sandblasted glass, framing the watercolor, represents the SEC over looking the market activities.
The “Book Case Series” brings the eye close to the drawings, obliterating any peripheral vision. Viewers are totally immersed in the subject of the drawing, as one looks into a microscope, transporting themselves into the magnified world in solitary states.
My objective as an artist, is to present botanical subjects in a fashion which encourages the viewer to observe the subject with new insights and to explore the drawing with new visual and mental awareness.