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A Relationship with Nature 

An interview with artist Lisa Marie Sipe

Lisa Marie Sipe creating one of her stunning encaustic wall works. Photo courtesy of Lisa Marie Sipe.

Lisa Marie Sipe creating one of her stunning encaustic wall works. Photo courtesy of Lisa Marie Sipe.

Lisa Marie Sipe's work, whether it be in her encaustic wall work or acrylic paintings, captures the textures and layers found dormant in things easily taken for granted, ignored or forgotten. The fingerprints of nature compose the inspiration for the organic imagery found in her work, not just the nature seen outside in forests, rivers, deserts and mountains, but in cancer and heartaches as well. Her art can be seen at The Workhouse and at Tedx Bend.

Source Weekly: How did you became fascinated with your style?

Lisa Sipes: I grew up with parents that weren't very outdoorsy. For instance, I got my camper badge in Girl Scouts by staying at the Holiday Inn, so when I went camping for the first time in college I fell deeply in love with the outdoors. I started bringing my camera on my adventures and captured majestic views, but mostly I took close-ups of tree bark and lichen. Over time I found a way to harness the relationship I have with nature and translated it into my style of art. SW: What drew you to acrylic?

LS: I'm really drawn to the clean lines and bright colors of pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein. The pop art subject matter isn't really me but I borrowed the straight edge style from them and applied it to my paintings of tree bark, leaves and dog bellies.

SW: The encaustic work is so specific, what was the initial inspiration?

LS: I discovered my current encaustic style after my aunt passed away from having multiple kinds of cancer. I processed my feelings in the studio. I printed out images of each different kind of cancer she had. I experimented with dipping the cancer covered paper in encaustic and manipulating it into different shapes. I didn't realize I was discovering a new technique at the time but I've used it ever since. I guess I really should thank my aunt for inspiring me.

SW: Has artistic expression been in you since childhood?

LS: I've been artistic for as long as I can remember. I tried perfecting drawing symmetrical Christmas trees in preschool. Before entering kindergarten, I took a test where I had to draw my family. I drew my father with pockets on his pants and a watch on his wrist. I've always loved being creative.

SW: How does Central Oregon shape you as an artist?

LS: Central Oregon has helped me blossom as an artist. I find our art community to be very supportive and open. I'm also completely enamored with Oregon's beauty. I'm currently working on a solo show that will be a love letter to the Pacific Northwest. It will be on display at Longview Community College in Washington this July.

Find Lisa's work at The Workhouse

50 SE Scott St. Suite 6, Bend

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