"I paint to give one a breath of fresh air, and to celebrate the good things that are all around us."
Liesel Lund is a modern impressionist who captures the immediacy of her response to a subject with rich colors and expressive marks. Her paintings engage viewers with enticing surfaces ranging from smooth, glowing passages to thick impasto marks. Colors are often blended directly on the surface or layed down side by side to mix optically. Her calligraphic marks of paint range from energetic brush marks to expressive marks built with a palette knife. The paintings often combine representational elements with passages of abstract mark making. Watching an iridescent dragonfly hover over sparkling water is Liesel's first memory. Her love of nature, color and light continues to this day through her work.
Liesel Lund lives on Whidbey Island in Washington state, where she often is out painting en plien air, the beautiful fields, forests and deep blue ocean of the Pacific Northwest. Her love of tropical landscapes and plants also makes a showing in her paintings.
Liesel studied fine art, natural history and scientific illustration at The Evergreen State College, The University of Washington and Gage Academy of Art.
Over the years she has worn many creative hats. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand she created a nature education center at a Doi Luang National Park. Later she designed graphics for Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo's Butterflies and Blooms exhibit, children’s books for McGraw-Hill, and textile prints for Tommy Bahama's tropically inspired clothing. In 2009, she left the design field to be a full time artist and workshop instructor.
A third generation artist, Liesel follows in the creative footsteps of her grandmother, a ceramic bead and fiber artist, and her mother, a traditional quilter, author and garden designer.
Liesel uses painterly techniques to infuse the work with energy and emotion.
Her explorations of paint texture include thin to thick impasto marks; colors created by paint blended directly on the surface and optically mixed color made up of solid marks of color. Her calligraphic marks of paint range from smooth, glowing passages to energetic brush marks where you can see the texture made by the brush hairs pressed into the paint or expressive marks built with a palette knife. Frequently her paintings combine representational elements with passages of abstract mark making.
Some paintings are painted en plein air (out of doors), many are painted ala prima (all in one go) in the studio, while larger canvases require several weeks in the studio to complete.
"When possible, I prefer to paint ala prima to capture my enthusiasm for the subject when it is strongest and to capture the freshness that comes from completing a painting in a single day of 8-10 hours of focused work."
She often uses a less common method to create her work, referred to as the indirect method or working wet into wet. The first layer is purely transparent paint applied thinly. For the second layer of paint, a mix of opaque and transparent pigments is used and applied while the first layer is still wet. When applied thinly, the second layer brushstroke blends directly into the first layer, creating glowing colors. When applied thickly, the second layer brushstroke sits on top of the first layer, staying pure in color and contrasting beautifully with the transparent background. Every painting incorporates a mixture of both thin and thick paint applications. This creates a lively paint surface and takes advantage of the unique properties of transparent and opaque pigments.