A /glim(p)se into the Art of Lisa Tureson

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Some people come to art early in life, while others find their direction later in adulthood. Lisa Tureson has managed to do both. Living in a creative process, growing up as the daughter of a teaching artist and interior designer, Tureson developed a sensibility of how art and a well-designed space impacts a visitor or resident. This is where Lisa found her niche as an artist.  Along with producing a sizable body of commercially accessible art, Tureson primarily collaborates with the design community in the Mid-Atlantic region and private commercial and residential clients around the world. Tureson’s work can be seen from Sao Palo, Brasil, to New York, Canada and all over the United States in private and corporate collections, galleries, showrooms and stores.

Her preferred role as an artist is to create site-specific pieces, particular to a client’s vision.  While some artists specialize in specific styles, techniques or subjects, Tureson enjoys completing a puzzle, in a multitude of styles and media. She works primarily with acrylic, but also enjoys metal leaf, verre églomisé, plaster, encaustic, and oil and wax combinations. Her strong and studied practice in modern and old world decorative artistry techniques is also evident in her work and aptitude with a very broad range of materials.

The Artist as Problem-Solver 

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Tureson says that there is not a lot of back and forth in her work with designers. The design professionals provide basic parameters, such as a color palette, textile selections and space plans. They may ask for a specific type of work, perhaps an abstract landscape, or they may ask for her suggestions. Often there is a problem to be solved. Her job is to create art that works within the structure she is given. 

For example, one client had renovated a beautiful space with a fireplace as the focal point of the room. It was lovely except for one thing: an unsightly electrical panel that for reasons unknown was located next to the fireplace. The designer asked Tureson what could be done, and she came up with the ingenious idea of covering the panel with a trompe l’oeil bookcase, an approach that worked with the dimensions of the panel, its placement and possible other functions of this form in that space. She included images of the client’s books and personal items and drew from their experiences to create a very personal piece of art that also served a very important function. 

In her own home, she combines modern artworks with a five-walled dining room showcasing the development of perspective painting from the Renaissance era.  For clients she paints murals on canvas in her studio. They are then applied like wallpaper on location.

From Hobbyist to Art Entreprenuer 

While artistic endeavors have always been a part of her being, Tureson did not initially pursue art as a career.  Art and design electives and courses were in the background, in hobby mode.  Tureson earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics and enjoyed successful careers in labor relations and the insurance industry. She has also published academic, social and scientific articles in magazines, newsletters and journals.  Her painting career, like her business career, demonstrates a wide curiosity and range of results. 

Ready for a change after 20 years in business, she started giving the idea of a career in the arts serious thought. “I was terrified for a while,” she says, not knowing if it would work out. “I made some costly mistakes, and I always say that one day I’m going to write The Big Book of NO/KNOW , because I can tell you what not to do, but I’m still standing”.  A defining moment was when she realized she had a six-month backlog of work. “I said, okay, I can feel a future here.” 

Tureson’s current show at Touchstone Gallery, /glim(p)se, showcases 18 paintings in multimedia which reflect her love and respect for her favorite artist: mother nature. A few pieces were inspired by a recent trip to the atolls of the Maldives and to the island of Cuba. Raised on the coastline of New Jersey and a sailing hobbyist, the element of water in its many forms are often demonstrated in the paintings she creates for herself.