My name is Lisa Argentieri, I’m originally from New York, USA (please visit my website, and follow me on Instagram and Facebook!) Like most artists, I started painting and drawing at a young age. However I stopped painting after I graduated with a B.F.A degree from The School of Visual Art in New York. Why is that you might ask? It’s because life got in the way, and painting wasn’t a way to make a living, at least not for me!
But after over 25 years of not painting or drawing, I picked up the brushes again, and went right back to watercolor as my medium of choice. I fell in love with watercolor the first time I saw an artist paint with this medium, it seemed magical how she could control just the right amount of water and pigment and create ANYTHING she wanted on paper!
Long story short, I went from just messing around with some watercolor paintings to becoming an internationally recognized award-winning painter within 5 years. My classical, formal training in drawing and painting never abandoned me. I painted everything, from seascapes, landscapes to flowers to the human figure.
Eventually painting from the live model, which was such a joy!
After a while, I gathered enough courage to paint directly onto the watercolor paper, without preliminary drawings or tonal studies. (Saunders, and Arches 300 cold press watercolor paper). My figure paintings are very spontaneous and loose, which, to my surprised were much admired.
In my figurative work, I choose to leave out most detail, and with as few brush strokes as possible, and render the figure in bold color. My eyes take in the entire body, but my hand paints the highlights and shadows, conveying the mood and character of the model. My choice of color is instinctual, and I paint very fast. Finishing all paintings in one session.
I paint with Daniel Smith pigments, Winsor & Newton, and Blick watercolors. Always starting with fresh paint, this way the painting looks lively and bold. I always paint wet on dry. I use Escoda watercolor brushes, mostly the cat’s tongue and size 10 or 12 round.
I gained enough confidence after a couple of months of painting to enter my first juried art show. I am proud to say it was accepted and won an Award at the prestigious NYC’s Salmagundi Art Club, the country’s oldest established art club.
I then entered and was accepted into the most distinguished art shows in NYC. I am proud to say my art has been featured on the Escoda Brush Company, in the company of the world’s most famous contemporary artists. Also a featured artist on the Daniel Smith website, with 3 demonstration articles, (links are on my website, under “Press”). I am sharing this to encourage other watercolorists whom may have not painted for some time, it’s never too late to get to where you are going!!
These days, you might say that, “my art has gone to dogs.”. Because even though my figure work is much admired by the public, it’s now my charismatic dog portraits that are taking center stage! Again painting wet on dry, with simple strokes, I capture the personality (focusing on the eyes of the dog) of the animal.
I hope this article inspires you to paint boldly, organically and fearlessly, and I encourage you to enter shows, because you may be surprised what can happen!