Liza Sylvestre is the first of a series called Artist About where we feature artist who are particularly notable.


My paintings and drawings grow out of simple things: single marks, a gesture hinted at with an overlapping of color. They require both spontaneity and control and a belief that beauty hangs somewhere in the balance between those poles.

As I continue to work, and my pieces ripen toward completion, I often feel that I am a caretaker allowing something to grow, a gardener tending to her crop, a biologist taking field notes. I am reacting to what I see in front of me and know that the process of creating depends on a chain of events- each one dependent on the one that comes before it and linked to the ones that will follow. I must have patience as I move through these steps.

Beauty is important to me. The idea that beauty grows out of a place that cannot be planned or completely controlled is even more important. Images of the natural world are often evident in my work – the patterns that light makes on water, the space that a tree canopy creates, stars unfolding in a field of black universe. These images surface naturally because I try to emulate the way the world works. Sand settles on the ocean’s bottom the same way that paint sediment does. Rivers of color pour into each other and create new shades. The water leaves as the paint drys and another color and texture is left behind. I feel myself responding and reacting as I manipulate these pieces, and in doing so I get to feel something wild and natural beating in myself.