Captivated by stories told by her great grandmother about an exotic era before telephones, televisions and automobiles, Lisa Bussett grew up fascinated with the wisdom of elders. Inspired by aged faces that hint at lives fully lived, she paints vivid portraits that celebrate the lines of experience etched on a face – crow’s feet of happiness, crevices of sorrow, creases that tell of good and hard times.
Lisa paints in a jubilant riot of vibrant colors to create works that wander somewhere between realism and caricature. Her portraits are not about capturing an external likeness of a subject, but rather an attempt to capture the essence of each person, focusing closely on the subject and eliminating the distraction of background elements. This method keeps the meaning and scenario of her work open so each viewer can interpret the faces and expressions in their own way. There is a story in each face, but it’s up to the viewer to decide what it is.
The eyes in each portrait, often over-sized, reveal the subject’s story; capturing that flash of experience, humor or melancholy which can be shared in a single glance. Although she uses photographs as her starting point, she relies predominantly on the free-flowing processes of memory and creative imagination, and all of her paintings eventually turn into concealed self-portraits;
Under the brush strokes are the words and the hearts on every sleeve…