May 19, 2014
One week into her residency and plein-air painter Lisa Lebofsky (’14) had set up her portable easel in the field just below Saltonstall’s office. It was a gorgeous Spring morning, and Lisa was painting a dead tree (seen on left). “It’s the whole notion of beautiful decay,” she says, describing her affinity for this subject matter. “I’m not a narrative painter, but there is a story there — of mortality, the passage of time.”
Lisa’s work is “site-inspired,” as she describes it. She figures out what her subject matter is going to be once she’s arrived in a new place. This means she is also open to the unexpected, and when a few very windy days prohibited her from painting outside, she began to think about the wind.
How does one attempt to paint the wind, she wondered. “I mean, what is it?” she laughed, trying to envision painting something invisible. Intrigued with the idea of how a painter might capture the raw energy of wind, Lisa tried something new. On one of those windy days, she painted thin aluminum panels (her material of choice) a bright green and — while still wet — gently held the panels over the waving grass, allowing the individual blades to brush the panel’s surface. The result can be seen in the image on the right, photo courtesy of the artist.