Artist of the Month: 

Artist of the month

Lissa Banks

For Kyiv.jpeg

For Kyiv

In 2012 I began a series of three paintings of flowers. The vision arose the morning after a birthday celebration when many small vases of red flowers were left together on a garden table. It was the catalyst for work done over the next ten years which has since moved on to include paintings of single tulip portraits. In addition to finding inspiration from party detritus, I also find it in my own back yard and from local farms and florists.

In selecting my subject matter, I look for the interplay of color and light with a bias toward brilliant hues. After a painting is completed, I often write about what my paintings reveal to me during the painting process (you can read some of these on my website: My thoughts often reflect on my own personal experiences and family, sometimes touch on art, art history, literature and life in general.

As a child I lived in close proximity to the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. There I was exposed to some of the great European portraitists and landscape painters of the 18th and 19th centuries. I would hop the fence and wander the property and galleries. I pursued a more formal (and legal) education in fine art and art history at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

In addition to my florals, I also paint figures and portraits as well as landscape. I feel that my portraits stand on the shoulders of my flowers as I bring the same technique and attention to detail that I have developed in my deep exploration of nature.

If asked to summarize my work, I’d have to say that my paintings serve as a visual journal of my life. From parties and gardens to fields and deserts, my work is deeply personal as I seek to express my gratitude for the beauty of the natural world around us.

Lissa Banks