Queensland based Lisa Adams is a self-taught, realist artist who lives remotely on a bush property in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Working 6 hours a day, 6 days a week in her isolated studio downstairs, she produces surreal paintings depicting arresting views with occasionally improbable imagery. Although a painter for over twenty-five years, she has had only three commercial shows, as a result of her slow rate of production. Despite painting daily, she may produce only three or four paintings in a year, five during her most prolific years. It takes months to produce a single painting. Often, she would overpaint an image two or three times to get it right.
In 2009, Lisa Adams began to suffer from “a bad bout of RSI”, a product of painting with “fingers pinched around a paintbrush” every day for twenty years. But some three years later, after making modifications to her brushes and her chair, and learning to have short breaks, she is back to painting six hours a day.
Adams’ painstaking approach begins with a very clear mental image of the painting, which she then tries to represent on canvas. She works from detailed photographic references, preferring her own photos, often acting as a model herself, shot by her photographer husband Kim Guthrie. This is very evident from the women in her paintings that bear an unmistakable resemblance to her.
When it proves difficult or impossible for her to access and photograph a subject, she hunts out references, spending days trawling through electronic media archives, libraries and bookshops.
“I never paint from just one photograph”, she says, “it sometimes takes hundreds of separate sources.”
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