Hi, my name is Lisha Nasipak and I live about 25 miles west of Cleveland, Ohio. On any given day, you can find me tucked away in the corner of my home studio, a cup of brewed tea at my side and a paintbrush in my hand. It wasn’t until my children were in school and I was facing tough times that I picked up a paint brush. I found a true calling during a time of despair.
My inner artist suddenly emerged from a place of change and growth. Never having the opportunity to study in a formal setting, I stumbled upon watercolor during this rough patch in my life. I’ve loved drawing from a very young age and never thought it would go beyond that but watercolor truly helped carry me through.
Watercolor and I became great friends, and that friendship has lasted 30 years. In the beginning, I set out to learn from other artists, studying art books from my local library and just putting in the time and practice. I’m finally beginning to feel comfortable with my friend after all these years.
Working with watercolors since 1992, I have enjoyed painting portraits, landscapes, and everything in between. My favorite subjects are florals, birds, fruits, and vegetables. Although I will attempt to paint anything to challenge myself, I am an avid gardener and flowers, and birds often pop up in my artwork.
Watercolor is a challenging medium and the excitement of trying to master and control it is what keeps me coming back time and time again. I don’t feel I can ever actually master watercolor, however, it gives me hours of enjoyment and challenge. Watercolor never fails to surprise me!
My supplies are whatever I can get my hands on! I have such a variety of paint sets and brushes from dime store to more pricey sets. I use Winsor and Newton paints frequently. I do love Arches 140lb cold press paper. The paint goes on so smoothly. I like to use Canson mixed media board or illustration board for detailed paintings, which I love doing. The illustration board is a little tricky to use as paint can be lifted easily, if not careful, but it is great for detailed paintings.
I sketch in separate sketchbooks to keep my drawing skills in check but do trace my drawings onto the paper when I am watercolor painting. I paint a lot from photos taken from a website called Paint My Photo, which is a social networking site dedicated to sharing copyright free photos for artistic inspiration. There is lots of inspiration there!
I take comfort in order and structure. I love color. My work is sometimes controlled rather than loose, and I often use vivid color. I paint in a methodical manner using a very fluid medium. I usually lay down a very light wash saving my white highlights and then proceed with many layers using less water and a very small paint brush. I let each layer dry before applying the next layer.
My work has been in local co-ops, gift shops and local art shows and festivals. Although I show my work and sell my paintings, I never see myself as a professional artist. I’m just in love with watercolor!!
I chose watercolor for its ease of use, economical cost, and cleanup. I didn’t know where this would take me, and I had no idea that many years later I would still be painting and now teaching watercolor at the same library where my journey first started.
My love of watercolor has taken me on a wonderful journey and I hope there are more surprises yet to come. You can see more of my work and follow me on Facebook!