I sat down in the home studio of Austin
’s own esteemed artist, Lisa Beaman, whose work is currently displayed at The Davis Gallery downtown location. While getting the chance to get to know Lisa, I learned gained a fortunate amount of knowledge about her life as a mother, wife, and extremely creative artist of many concentrations.
Lisa Beaman was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts and lived there until moving to Boston to receive her BA in art. She met her husband, Joseph Beaman, at the University of Massachusetts and ended up moving down to Austin with him 38 years ago. They have four grown children, three boys and a girl.
As a young artist, Lisa started out as a quilt maker and became very well-known and esteemed in the business over time. She felt it was something she could do as an artist while also starting a family. After winning various awards and continuing as a quilt maker for 20 years, she wanted something new and fresh and proceeded to give away all her fabric at a yard sale. Once she was 40 years old, she got into oil painting and loved it. As an admirer for variety and change in her work, she also missed certain elements of quilting and started paper collaging about 15 years ago.
She describes paper collaging as a more direct and immediate form of art. A quilt would take her about two years to come up with an idea and get all the fabrics to make it perfect, while she can finish a paper collage project within a day. She likes to use antique paper and collects it at various places wherever she travels, recently taking a trip to Japan where she found some of the best materials. Now at 61, a prolific worker who can easily entertain herself by moving from project to project, a normal day at her home studio consists of her switching back and forth from her oil painting to her collaging studio as inspiration strikes throughout the day.
While working as a hobby and as a business, she works on various projects at a time and sometimes feels slightly overwhelmed with the amount of work she produces. Having said this, she will probably never stop working and explains, “I’m an artist, you don’t quit, I get an idea and I come back”. Besides oil painting and paper collaging currently keeping her busy, she also collects 3D antique artifacts and uses them to make color coordinated collages and mosaic work.
When describing her style as an artist, she prefers nontraditional and abstract pieces, loves everything having to do with nature, and likes creating pieces that are exciting and surprising. Her impulses are symmetrical but she enjoys the challenge of doing something more fun. For example, her dislike for Donald Trump was the inspiration for a recent project, portraying a comical and artistic depiction of him giving a speech. Though much of her paper collaging is abstract, she personally prefers to have an emotional connection with her work and tries to depict different themes and meanings whenever it’s possible. Her favorite pieces are the ones that she holds a sentimental value to and keeps for herself.
If she wasn’t an artist she would likely be an architect, her and her husband worked on remodeling a country home they shipped from upstate New York and made it into a complete work of art that they love spending time in. She loves to build projects and incorporates her work throughout her home, considering the way she decorates as form of art as well.