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Liza Mackintosh


Describe your work in three words:

Calming, uplifting and immersive

Please can you tell us briefly about your background

I was born in Katoomba, Australia and moved to England when I was little. Growing up with family in Australia and Canada has meant I have been lucky to explore both these beautiful places throughout my life.

My strongest memory of moving to England was being amazed at how green it always is here. Experiencing the changing seasons was memorable change, which now plays an important role in my painting.

Did you visit museums and galleries as a child?

Yes, my mum is a creative person and was studying art throughout my childhood meaning she would take us to galleries often. I remember visiting Olfaur Eliasson’s weather project when it was in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2003. The sun was a huge orange globe that created a warm atmosphere and we lay on the floor alongside hundreds of other people to look up at ourselves in the mirror on the ceiling. It was a poignant moment for me, highlighting how immersive art is.

Did you have a formal art education or are you self-taught?

I studied a Foundation Diploma at Falmouth College University in Cornwall. This was an amazing place to study art; we would walk up steep hills to drawing classes and to spend afternoons creating huge drawings in sand on the beaches.

After my Foundation course I travelled to London where I begun my BA in Fine Art Painting at Wimbledon College of Art. I loved being in the city with access to all the galleries and artists that London offers.

What’s the best thing about being an artist?

I think the best thing about being an artist is the freedom of creativity it allows. I love stepping into the studio and just losing myself in my paintings. Allowing your inspiration to guide your work is a real privilege of being a painter.

And the worst!?

Sometimes pieces don’t come together the way you want them to. I have spent months or even years on a particular painting without working out where it is going. Despite this being, at times an overwhelming challenge, when the piece does finally find itself it is incredibly rewarding.

What has inspired or influenced you?

Having the chance to visit the homes, pieces of art and creative spaces of great artists of the past and present has greatly influenced me. I particularly remember visiting the garden on Monet and being so inspired that I spent most of the trip filling a sketchbook with thick impasto paintings. I have seen the possibilities of putting your mind and energy into your passion for art and what can be achieved. Other artists are a huge inspiration to me and encourage me to keep going.

Please can you tell us about your working environment.

I work in my home studio in East Sussex near the Ashdown Forest. I walk in the local landscape daily and allow colours, seasons and weather to influence the direction of my paintings. My studio has a window overlooking our garden and a long wall where I can hang my current pieces as I work on them.

Please tell us a little about the process involved in making your art?

My paintings unfold intuitively, each mark informs the next and therefore the paintings take shape organically, much like the landscape they refer to. I work with oil and acrylic paint; my paintings are built up through many layers. I am experimental with mediums and using different tools to create new and exciting marks on the canvas, wood or paper to reflect the energy of the landscape I seek to express.

Final words…

I just want to say being an artist takes tremendous support from those around you and I want to say how grateful I am for the support of my partner, family and friends. Your support means the world.

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