I got to spend a few hours with the lovely Lisa Bachman in her above-garage studio in South Nashville. Lisa’s work is prolific for she has several different approaches she uses when making her work. For her latest series, “New Skin” she applies watercolor and other media like colored pencil and sumi ink on paper. Before she starts painting, she goes through photo albums from her youth and finds figures whose position in the photograph create interesting profiles or silhouettes. She then draws that shape on the paper, magnifying it many times. She then wets the paper and applies watercolor. This process of wet on wet causes the paint to spread. Mixed media is then added to create detail-exploding, aquamarine-like, flowery splashes of feathery texture.
Nashville Visual Artists is a photo documentary that profiles visual artists living and working in Nashville. The purpose of this project is to bring awareness to the strong visual arts scene here. Nashville is famous for its music culture but a lot of people aren't familiar with its rich visual arts culture. By interviewing artists and documenting their process in the studio, I hope to draw more attention to the visual arts community here.
What is the theme of your work?
The theme of my work definitely draws from self-expression. I can’t take that out of my work. As I’m in the process of self-expression I can’t help but put myself in the bigger picture when I work on a series. Like exploring universal topics such as family, belief, responsibility, failure and desire. For example last year when I did “The Give and Take” series I was dealing with the joys and compromises of human intimacy. This, I believe is something that we can all relate to; giving up something to be part of a relationship-whether it’s in family, friendships or other relationships.
What inspires your work?
It’s inspired by what I see on a daily basis (shapes in food preparation, magazines, film, the Nashville land/city scape). I make time to visit museums, art galleries, and friends’ studios, so all this local work greatly inspires me as well. The Frist brings in a lot of international work so I go there as often as possible for inspiration.
What are the goals for your work?
First and foremost, my biggest goal is to keep challenging myself in my medium, to master it. I want to get more comfortable with my different medium and push them in directions I haven’t before. Another goal is the more practical side of being a sustainable artist. Up to now the goal has been for the work to fund itself –sales have allowed me to buy more materials for artwork and visit museums for future inspiration. But ultimately, I’d love to be able to meet all my living expenses from my artwork.
What are your thoughts on the Nashville Arts Scene?
I think it’s getting larger and stronger. It’s also becoming more well-known in Nashville and beyond outside the art community. However I think it’d benefit from a healthy criticism, especially in critical writing of shows and new work. Now that we have more gallery districts with the introduction of Fort Houston area, this will hopefully create critical dialogue that will only benefit our art community as a whole.
You can learn more about Lisa's work at http://labachman.com/home.html