Human figure evokes imagination

Photo by Kristen Shimabukuro

To the average person, a body is what gets you around on a daily basis. But it is the body that provides inspiration for one Linfield artist.

For senior studio art minor Lisa Wierzbicki, the body is something she is drawn to depict on canvas with acrylic paints.

“In everything I do, I like to work with the human figure,” she said.

Wierzbicki said her favorite art class at Linfield so far has been Approaches to the Figure with Ron Mills, professor of art and visual culture.

“Lisa is an energetic and gifted painter with strong technical and design skills with a penchant for creating arresting figurative images,” Mills said.

Since high school, she has been continuously working on pieces in different mediums, including drawing and ceremics.

While studying abroad in Ecuador last spring, Wierzbicki did not have the opportunity to continue painting. She only took a basic sculpture class.

“I was nervous about getting back into the studio again,” she said. “I hadn’t painted for so long.”

However, Wierzbicki need not have worried. During her first week in the studio, an idea struck her. After a 10-hour session, she had mostly finished her first piece of the year. The result: a 4 feet by 2.5 feet canvas with a close-up image of a woman’s face lying in the grass with abstract images floating above.

“I like heightened reflections and definitive elements,” Wierzbicki said. “Rich, bright colors; things that change into other things.”

She is inspired by Vincent Van Gough, Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Mucha. Posters of these great artists’ works hang in her bedroom. Another special piece by Wierzbicki also hangs on those walls, titled “When He Holds Me.”

This painting, a woman floating in water with bubbles clinging to her hair and face, holds personal meaning for Wierzbicki.

“It is the feeling, to me, of being in a calm, peaceful place,” she said.

A painting with a completely different feeling is her favorite to display and always keeps friends talking. Titled “Firework Eyes,” two separate canvases each depict one of the artist’s own eyes in a pop-art fashion. Wierzbicki said she finds painting eyes is now “her thing.”

“I did a self-portrait sophomore year and hated it,” she said. “The only thing I liked were the eyes, so I ripped it up and cut out the eyes.” Her current piece is a life-size self-portrait and is the biggest canvas she has ever worked with.

“Her work is highly personal in many cases, but the fantasy and magic that often permeates her imagery is generally accessible,” Mills said. “I expect great things of her.”

1 Comment on Human figure evokes imagination

  1. Hi Lisa,

    Was your father in the Marine Corps?

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