Lisa Lamoreaux didn’t plan to become an artist. But in many ways, she just always was.
Her passion for mixing and matching designs began as just a little girl. Obsessed with buying greeting cards, Lisa Lamoreaux spent hours rearranging them on the wall of her bedroom. Tired of the pinholes, her mother turned the entire wall into cork, giving Lisa the freedom to easily create new designs as her collection grew and her vision expanded.
Today, her work is rooted in the same collage-style techniques she began honing in her early years. A mixed-media fine artist, many of her pieces begin with a layer of found paper. Lisa then adds a layer of acrylic modeling paste, maneuvering the plastic-like material while it’s still pliable. Speaking to the creative process, Lamoreaux doesn’t know what any single piece will be until she’s well into the design process.
Once dried, the canvas receives layers and layers of acrylic paint. Subjects are then painted in water-mixable oil. Lisa’s final step is a glaze that gives her work an eye-catching shine. D
The process is time-intensive, requiring long dry times and an extensive amount of exploring.
Using Found Paper
Over time, Lamoreaux’s passion for finding greeting cards morphed into a hunt for old paper.
In her early days as a professional artist, she’d scour hidden places, like flea markets and rummage sales. She’d find old books, scores of music, and handmade paper — each uniquely beautiful and full of character. In order for her pieces to be sold professionally, the paper she uses must be under the public domain. As Lamoreaux’s work developed a following, passionate patrons undertook the hunt for her. She’s received handmade papers from all over the world — including an Italian one that’s so beautiful it’s somehow never made its way onto a canvas.
“I have four rolls of it that I’ve been coveting. I just can’t bring myself to use it,” said Lisa.
Making a Home on San Juan Island
Born and raised in Bellingham, Lamoreaux spent the first 20 years as a young adult in the greater Seattle area. Moving to the San Juans wasn’t part of the plan, but it also didn’t surprise her that the islands called to her.
“It’s always been a lifelong dream to live somewhere on an island with a western exposure,” Lamoreaux explained.
In 2017, she came to San Juan Island to housesit and she never left. Lamoreaux was captivated by the western-facing view of Andrews Bay and Haro Strait. She still is. It’s the view she sees daily from her island home and studio.
You too can see the view during the annual San Juan Island Artists’ Studio Tour, June 4 – 5, 2022. Lisa is also happy to welcome visitors by appointment.