I’d like to introduce a new friend, Contemporary and Fantasy Artist Lisa Penz. Lisa creates the most uniquely ethereal paintings, each one a captivating expression of luxurious colour. Her most recent work features irresistible Disney inspired themes, often with a twist. Lisa and I first connected through the wonders of social media and we immediately bonded over our love of Disney Parks. I wanted to learn more about her creative process and what inspires such a talented artist. Today I’m excited to share my conversation with Lisa Penz.
When did you realize that painting was your calling?
I’ve always felt the call to create. Painting is just one form of expression for me, albeit a major one. I lived in Australia for several years and one day after work, I had gotten off the train before my regular stop and decided to walk the rest of the way home. At the time I was working as a graphic designer for a fashion magazine so I already felt I was living somewhat of a creative existence. During my walk home, I noticed a luxury interiors store holding an exhibition for a local artist. I decided to walk in. The paintings I saw at that exhibition left an unforgettable impression on me that had a lasting impact even days later. Standing there, I immediately knew that I wanted to make other people feel what I was experiencing – to inspire awe and offer a captivating interlude in an otherwise ordinary day.
How would you describe your work?
My work has changed dramatically in the last few years, but what binds my work thematically is magic and fantasy. Through a luscious and unique blend of abstract style with animation, I strive to convey the idea of transformation. I’m interested in creating a compelling work that speaks, one that is experiential.
Is there a process you follow when starting a new piece?
Absolutely, but not always intentionally. It starts with the spark of a new idea, sometimes a rough sketch, sometimes a ton of research. I typically paint in the background first and start to develop a relationship with it and shape it to the emotional tone I’d envisioned. Any animation work is more strategically thought up and refined and worked into the perfect position to make harmonious synergy with the background. I really enjoy this style of painting as it has allowed me to be spontaneous with the abstract stage and then be more structured and controlled when the animation comes into play. Essentially, my work celebrates the emotional duality of havoc and order that is a mirror image of my own life!
Do you have a current favourite painting?
I have two current favourite paintings!
About to get Tangled features Sven from Frozen in a beautiful lavender landscape. I really wanted to do a special Sven piece that had a childlike feeling but with an aesthetic sophistication so it would appeal to adults as well – myself included. Admittedly self-serving! I love the idea of a fantasy landscape and ice crystals set off asymmetrically. I wanted to create an anticipation factor as well. We wonder what will happen next… Will Sven walk towards the crystals, or will he stay safely where he is on the ledge? Even I don’t know the answer!
Some paintings just need to be painted. I didn’t have the time to paint Ice Tier but I couldn’t not paint it. It surrounds identity and confronting our own humanity. As humans, we are such experts at building up our own walls that we harden ourselves to so many opportunities because of past issues. I see people let beautiful moments and relationships pass them by because they are afraid. They’ve built up so many walls – some of which they are aware of and some of which they don’t even know are controlling their decision making. They lie to themselves. The payoff is feeling safe and justified. The cost is love and affinity… And this painting may simply be another one of my walls!
What is it about Disney that inspires you?
The story of transformation without the cost of consistency, both in the Disney films and theme parks. It is the attention to details in their character work that gets me. Yes, the animation component but also the emotional journey that keeps us hung up for generations.
Are there any Disney legends whose work you admire most?
OMG yes. The masterful Glen Keane, who brought a mermaid to life with a few line strokes!
What has been the most surprising outcome of your artistic journey?
The realization that the original advice I ignored years ago was all I needed to hear. Paint what you want.
Portfolio And Enquiries
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Thank you to Lisa Penz for her time and generosity.