A Kiwi guy is heading into the mountains near the Red Rocks in Wellington, New Zealand.
Last weekend, the Kiwi and I went for a walk / hike / tramp 5.5 hours, 16.5 km through the hills in Wellington.
We were rewarded with the stunning view of Cook Straight upstairs, despite the clouds.
It was long and hard.
This was our short path – there were many ups and downs in it.
It was also incredibly beautiful.
Yes – New Zealand is as beautiful as it is claimed.
Inspiration is everywhere.
I love the blues and gray cloudy days.
Inspired by the Colorado Rockies
Many artists use nature as a direct inspiration for their work. And for some time I had ideas that I would do it.
Five years ago, I made a statement in a living studio to a large group of artists that I was going to start doing artwork inspired by my trips to the Colorado Mountains .
One of the incentives for this transition was the lack of problems that I encountered in my Structures series. In 2014, I created about 170 textile paintings in a series, and I was ready to move on.
Another reason for this transition was the desire to find a niche for my work. With a narrow focus (works inspired by the Colorado Rockies), it was easier for me to find people who would respond to my work and ultimately buy it.
I believed that marketing would be easier. Understanding my ideal collector (those who loved the Rockies) sounded much simpler than figuring out someone who loved large abstract textile works of art.
In addition, I really like hiking and spent most of the weekends in the mountains. It was a genuine natural fit.
And then we know what happened – I moved to New Zealand 3 months later. Goodbye Rocky Mountains.
Ha ha ha – so much for these plans!
Inspired by New Zealand
Soon after the impulsive decision to move to New Zealand, I had a solo exhibition planned in Colorado. I need a new job for this exhibition.
So, I used my first few months in New Zealand to create the main work for this show.
And it really was inspired by nature.
I started with an abstract exploration of the horizon.
I quickly learned to see that there was forever a need for my peace of mind. I lived in a claustrophobic valley where I could not see very far, so I took a daily walk uphill so that I could look at the vast view.
This first work was a comparison of the ability to see forever in Colorado vs. New Zealand.
I did not use specific images or locations as a reference for these works. Instead, they are an abstraction of my impressions of vision forever. The first 12 represent Colorado with a stunning blue sky and mountain peaks that I use for hiking. The last 12 represent New Zealand and sea views – sometimes gray, sometimes cloud, and on these happy days – beautiful blue. Although not as blue as the sky in Colorado.
Lisa Call – Changing Perspectives | Seeing that parts of ForeverMost are in private collections, some of them are available for purchase.
This is a photo from one of my last trekking to the top of the peak in Colorado. This gives you an understanding of what I was thinking.
Then I switched to New Zealand and created a polytype with 5 Cape Palliser panels.
Lisa Call – Lovers, Cape Pallizer (approach, riverbed, sea, lunar landscape, dawn) A collection of artists (not for sale)
These abstractions were based on photographs from a trip I made to Cape Pallizer with a guy from kiwi. We think of it as our first date. I took a vertical fragment in some photographs and then abstracted the composition and colors for my landscape.
And, of course, life in the Wellington area – the island of Capiti instantly became one of my favorites. And that was before I moved to Kapiti.
It is easy to see how this work:
There was an abstraction of this photograph of the island. Again, making a vertical fragment of the photo.
I like the idea of exploring the horizon using a vertical fragment of the landscape. This is not an expected format for terrain, and I like how grouping multiple horizon lines can create a more complex image.
This became my approach to the landscape. Creating multi-panel compositions.
I was pleased with the Denver exhibition and was very excited to create more abstract landscapes when I returned to New Zealand.
And then what?
I made three more abstract landscape triptychs using vertical sections of the view.
This photograph reflects the beauty of Kaikoura (an amazing area along the eastern coastline of the South Island)
And these 2 are abstractions of walking along the coastline in New Zealand. The opportunity to always see the sea is such news to me when I spent most of my time in the arid, landlocked southwestern United States.
And then that was all.
I was never inspired or worried about doing more. Instead, I returned to pure abstraction.
No matter how incredible the landscapes were, they did not hold my attention for a very long time.
I am sure that someday I will do more, but not today.
Partly because they are not the colors that I want to use in my work. Brown, blue, green. There are not many options. As you can see, I started adding more colors towards the end, and when I make more landscapes, I suspect that they will not be as close to reality.
Although I returned to my previous style of work, because the creation of landscapes does not lead to a sense of satisfaction and mastery, which brings me the creation of abstract works based on ideas (rather than real ones).
Are they easier to sell? May be. They sell well, of course. But sales are not why I make works of art.
What is a connection?
I still say that I am inspired by nature. In fact, I always said that. I have no doubt that our environment somehow affects all the works of artists.
When I continued the long hike mentioned at the beginning of this post, I began to reflect on the connection between what I saw and my work of art. Was there one? What does it mean to be inspired by nature if I somehow do not portray the nature that I see?
I will share my initial thoughts on these issues in my next blog post.
PS – Fast FYI – Once a year I spend a sale in the studio. These years will happen closer to the end of October, and the remaining textile fabrics will change in the future | Seeing forever the collection will be included.