2021 Spotlight on Lisa Parkyn

I am an abstract artist based in Ottery St Mary.

This is my third year taking part in Open Studios and the first time hosting from my home studio which is both exciting and a little bit scary. But I do enjoy meeting people who share my love of art and creativity so please do come and say hello!

Creativity has always been a way of life for me, with my grandmother and mum both painting. I grew up on a remote farm in the Kalahari (semi) desert, Botswana. Memories stay with me – the baking hot sand under my bare feet, driving on the back of a landcruiser with the wind on my face, searching for scorpions with my brother and exploring the bushveld with my family. Perhaps that’s why I’m inspired by the textures of the Jurassic coastline and the wild spaces and colour of the Devon countryside.

I love the unusual, quirky treasures that only nature can come up with and collect interesting objects from the tideline and countryside which I keep in my studio for mark-making and inspiration including fossils, dried seed-heads, seedpods and leaf skeletons.

I work mainly in water-based materials on wood panels, canvas and paper. Layers and texture are built up using a variety of mediums including acrylic, ink, charcoal, pastels, collage and graphite. Then through drawing, scraping, washing and sanding back into the layers, I create a rich history on the surface. This is refined and tempered until a balanced composition is resolved.

A career in graphic design, a movement psychotherapy degree and world travels all influence my art. I settled in Devon with my wonderful husband and two cats twelve years ago. Whilst raising our two inspiring children, I began to revisit my art – initially portraits and landscapes, later drawn towards abstraction. After completing the Art2Life Creative Visionary Programme (CVP) in 2020, I now pursue my career as an artist full-time. And we now have three cats!

Getting out with the family into the countryside and painting has proved to be a rewarding way for me to pass on creativity and love of nature to my own children.