Gold is LOVE. Lisa Ostapinski‘s encaustic/beeswax art spoke to me from the very first time I laid my eyes upon them. And that was over a screen so I’m very much wanting to see them and feel the energy of her work in the flesh. Lisa’s work is generous and magical in an exploration of light, sacred geometry and natural forms. Age old techniques and a wide array of mixed media including ash, embroidery and xerox transfers, amongst many make for strong and feminine markings that make you want to feel your way in the world and vibrate higher somehow. Gold has a habit of inducing these kind of feelings by the way. This is art I want to wake up to and meditate upon. Lisa or Honeycomb Daughter as she is also known, love that name!, answered some questions for us about her life and work. Enjoy. Xx
Find Lisa on Instagram here.
What do you do and why do you do it?
I make “paintings” out of beeswax. They’re not actually paintings most of the time because there is no paint involved but I don’t know what else to call them. I melt beeswax onto wood panels and then I put gold leaf on top (and sometimes paint and other materials) and carve into the surface so that you can see the beeswax beneath. I make art because it’s how I make my way in the world, I can’t not make it. It’s how I survive.
You work a lot with gold leaf. How did this come about?
I have been messing around with weird materials for many years so I have tried most mediums. It’s just my thing right now, I love it. The reflective quality is so rich and seductive. It’s so dynamic, almost alive; it constantly changes with the sunlight all day as well as with electric light at night. I also think that gold expresses many feelings and ideas of the current times: there is a love and celebration of sensuality, women’s power and goddess worship….just look at Beyonce’s grammy performance. Gold is the color of Oshun, the African deity of love and sensuality.
Tell us your favourite places.
Hot springs, my favorite is in a forest in Oregon.
Morning ritual? cuddling with my son, coffee
Early bird or Night owl? early bird
Favourite destination? Mexico, Japan
Real life hero? Who inspired you on this creative path?
My grandparents were both artists and they first gave me art materials from a very young age.
How do you work through rough spots, anxiety or blockages in your creative practice?
I’ve never had a creative block. I am an extremely visual person and my art is a result of many many years of just looking and taking in visual information. Something that supports this that I started doing more recently is collecting images I see online to look at later when I need an idea. Sometimes the photo has nothing to do with the imagery I use, maybe it’s just the color or a certain form but I never know when something will lead to a painting. Also going to flea markets helps.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future? (What’s next?)
I would love to exhibit work and/or work on a collaboration or installation in another country/outside of the US.
What has your practice taught you?
Extreme patience and flexibility, also trusting myself. I think that to be an artist you have to be ok with hanging out in that uncomfortable space that arises when something isn’t working, didn’t turn out how you wanted or is failing miserably. Artists of all types constantly work in the unknown; it’s part of taking risks. This caries over into all parts of living life in this world, we continually face the unknown.