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Student Spotlight - Lisa Roos

lisa_roosMy name is Lisa Roos and I’ve been a student at Swinton’s for nearly 2 years now, which isn’t long comparatively speaking.  I attend classes on Wednesday evenings conducted by the ever-talented, ever-entertaining Doug Swinton.  I have also had the privilege of painting under the tutelage of Michele Zarb (who I credit for giving me my start), and workshops with Holly McWilliams, goddess of figure painting and drawing.  Truly the most patient people I know, as I am sure I am a handful!

What do you enjoy most about the classes?

That I’m not at work!  I love that the classes challenge me to let go of my structured corporate world or the yuck that life can sometimes bring, let my mind relax and the creative juices flow!  Total right brain!  I enjoy the camaraderie with the students and teachers, my weekly night out, seeing my own progress and development as an artist, and the tremendous sense of accomplishment when I finish a piece…it’s all good!

Have you learned anything?

Reclining-Nude-chalk-pastel-on-sandpaperIt’s been an amazing evolution – I had never held a brush or knew what a pastel was before signing up!  I think my biggest surprise was learning to draw figures, or rather, learning that I liked to draw figures.  I have an affinity for them, especially when working from live models.

I am endeavoring to develop my own unique “style” and perhaps incorporate my travels into my work, as I’ve been to some pretty cool places – Canada and the US, England, Wales, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain and Bulgaria.  And since I’m originally from Winnipeg (home of vast…well…um…vastness, swarms of mosquitoes, biblical flooding and, of course, epic snowfalls), I wouldn’t mind some prairie stuff as well.  To remind me of what I’m missing!

What are your favourite mediums?

Red-Fields-chalk-pastel-on-sandpaperMy favourite mediums (so far) are chalk pastels and oil paints.  Pastels feels so natural to me, probably stemming from my earlier years of hopscotch (or, more likely, from serving detention after school and having to write on the chalkboard over and over I will not beat up boys…I will not…). Experimenting on different types of paper is fun, and you don’t have to wait until the pastels dry!  Oils, on the other hand, are completely different.  Yes, they can be challenging, a pain in the ass sometimes, crazy messy and don’t come off of leather car seats as easily as pastels – but still, I really, really love them.

Who is your biggest influence?

Besides the encouragement from my instructors, other artists and friends, my Dad was, without a doubt, my biggest influence.  He’d always told me I should be painting.  He lived long enough to see my first two paintings, to which he responded, “See…told ya!”.  I’ve been painting ever since.  I miss him.

Do you plan to be a famous artist?

I would love to be able to show my work someday – to get to the point where someone looks at my art and says, “Wow! That’s an original Roos and I’m not leaving without it!”.  So yes, to paint seriously is something I am trying to achieve, but for now I paint for the pleasure of painting and bonus if I sell something!

Interests outside of the art world?

Travel, photography, skiing, golfing, hiking, martial arts (I have a black belt in taekwondo, which is supposed to teach me patience.  Yeah, I have to master that one.).

©2009, Lisa Roos

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