Lisa Upchurch Moore is an Atlanta based artist whose beautifully stunning works of the female figure carry such a sense of serenity. From the palette to the the canvas, the depiction of emotion and persona in these paintings is eternally apparent and utterly mezmerizing!
“People are bombarded daily with images of all that is wrong and ugly in our world. Sometimes that constant flow of negativity establishes an overarching cynicism and melancholy… and we forget that we have a choice in our perspective. I am inspired by… The beauty of the figure both human and horse in motion or at rest. The feeling of love and joy when watching children at play and the history of old worn out buildings.I love capturing the essence of those people, places or things and bringing their soul forward to view and feel. My hope is that through my art, viewers will choose to tap into the feelings of joy, comfort, and happiness that stem from the simple things of everyday life … holding a child’s hand, feeling the warmth of an animal, or remembering a place or time that holds meaning.” — Lisa Moore
Her hometowns are Calhoun and Carrollton, GA and she is currently based in Atlanta! Read on to learn more about Lisa’s work and life!
When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?
“I have been an artist all my life but this is a second career for me. I began painting as a career around 15 yrs ago.”
Describe your aesthetic in three words:
“Romantic, sensual, poetic (thank you Patrick Taylor for these words)”
Describe your artistic process and preparation—How do you start your creative process?
“The hard thing is after all this time, I still have not created a process that always produces what I want. I am not very good at routine even though I know that is a key to success… I get bored easily. However, my process is not entirely random . I like for my work to evolve and show me where I need to go. I think this makes a painting interesting and unique. I want my works to be one of a kind and stand on their own . That being said here is my “non-process”…”
“Gratitude is my Foundation for work.”
“I TRY to begin my day in a state of gratefulness thanking my creator for all the wonders and challenges of my life. Usually as I am meditating and journaling my mind will wander into one area and an image of that feeling or scene will pop into my head. I will do a quick sketch and take it to the studio.Translating the feeling into the emotion I am trying to capture with a figure is my challenge. Sometimes that figure will be a woman, sometimes a horse, sometimes a child…”
“Usually I get a great start and the painting goes quickly then I fall in love with it and stop before it is finished. This can be the death of a painting. I will move it off the easel knowing there is something there and I need to let it rest for a bit. I step away and try to see the work from a new perspective, with another viewpoint maybe the painting will show me what I need to do. Many times. I start a new work or go to another that has not been resolved. And so it goes, one painting after another. At times, the magic will happen and I will be gifted with expressing what I am going for. However, most paintings are the result of letting go and pushing through the fear . Having the courage to paint away the part I love because it stifles me and move forward to create a whole work that I love is my challenge. Many times it can take me weeks to have the courage to do this so I have about 8 or more paintings at a time going on. Especially if I need to change what I am thinking or feeling. I am a recovering perfectionist so I have to constantly remind myself “Perfect is the Enemy of Great” :)”
Why portray the figure?
“I wish I had some extraordinarily intellectual line about this but I do not. I can only say, I have been sketching the female form my whole life. (It is what I did instead of listening in my higher math classes 😉 ) . I am addicted to the line of the human form. I stay in awe of the power of our bodies and the beauty. To me the females of every species have this strength that is masked by vulnerability. I find this intriguing paradox lovely.”
“I wanted very much to be a landscape and abstract painter. I love the beauty of the land water sky and I appreciate a well crafted abstract but while I can paint those things technically, it is in my figurative work where you find me. For some reason my figures connect more to the viewer. I guess the figure chose me more than I chose it. It is what I am suppose to paint and express. I am still searching for the painting that is trying to get out. Hopefully it will be awhile before she shows herself as I am loving the quest to find her.”
Favorite piece you’ve painted to date—why?
“My first oil painting. It launched my career . That one was the first painting that someone other than my Mom friends etc… loved. Courage.”
Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?
“My mother. Everything she does relates to her mission of making the world better. Mostly for children. She never seeks attention but quietly makes sure children and teens in her area have what they need whether it is scholarship money or a laptop, food, all things to help those that are not as lucky as we are. She was a teacher for over 30 years and is still finding a way to give.”
“My go-to’s for inspiration professionally are the youtube interviews of Jack White. I love his take on the inspiration and restriction.”
What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?
“The manufacturing of the artist personality and art. Production art that has no originality or feeling but it is trendy and you can look at it and see the artist put nothing of themself or much time into the creation. I have been guilty of this myself. Hopefully I am evolving away from it. I think the key word is “fine” art. We as artists and galleries have to help the client understand the difference.”
Biggest accomplishment to date (personally and/or professionally)?
“The shaping and molding of another human… my son. I would never be doing this for a living if I had not had him. He is the only reason I walked away from my former corporate gig and that opened up the space in my life for painting as a career. I am still in awe that I am doing this for a living so the biggest accomplishment for me professionally is that I can do this everyday :)”
Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like? Top 3 studio must-haves?
“My studio… Light, people and more light. I like having people around me. It gives me energy and keeps me from over thinking my work.”
A random fact about you:
“My undergrad and graduate degrees have nothing to do with painting but both are foundations for what I do as a career.”
Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?
“Everywhere!!!! I want to see it all!”
Favorite color/medium to work with?
“Combinations. I LOVE all shades of Reds and greens but for some reason I continue to use this mix of turquoise and sepia in all of my work. Oil is my favorite because of the level of forgiveness it has. You can always take a “mistake” and make it into something beautiful with oil… kind of like life.”
What are you currently reading?
“I just got a great book by my friend Mary Laura Philpot. “I Miss You When I Blink””
What are you currently listening to?
“In the studio I like Miranda Lambert and the Pistol Annies (especially when I want to convey strength in my work), Anita Baker, Etta James, Billy Holiday for a more sensual feeling. I am also drawn to the Foo Fighters and Chris Stapleton. I love the lyrics. Sometimes Joni Mitchell is the mood for the day. Fairly eclectic. This question has put the song “What are you listening to” by Chris Stapleton in my head. Earworm!!”
What would you be doing if you were not an artist?
“Huh? Just teasing… I was an organizational coach for healthcare in my previous life. I would have gone on to complete my PhD in organizational Development and Leadership and probably be a consultant for companies in LEAN SiX SIGMA and strategic planning.”
One thing you couldn’t live without?
“My health and relationships with my family and friends. Everything else is replaceable.”
If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?
“No one… I like my journey. While not always easy, it is mine, one of a kind, I can’t wait to see what is next!”
Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?
“Of course for me Degas is a strong influence on my work …HOWEVER currently Brian Rutenberg , Jenny Saville and Alex Kanevsky are ringing my bell…”
“All are very different in their approach and philosophy. The common denominators are their skill and talent are exemplary, they do not follow the crowd and their work stands on its own merit.”
“Each one is a dream or nightmare depending on the day :).”
What do you want your audience to know about your work?
“The viewer can’t feel if the Artists can’t feel.” —Brian Rutenberg
“Hmmm… that is an interesting question. I hope that they feel something. I do not want to tell them what to feel but feel something. I know what it is to see a piece that moves me and how proud I am of myself when I take it home to be in my space. I hope someone will see my work and feel the same. So even years down the road they will love a piece of art that I created.”
What do you think, makes your work unique?
“My life experiences and how I approach what I am trying to express. No one can copy that because it is unique to me.”
What is/was a pinnacle moment in your art career?
“The day I decided to be intentional about my work. The day it became my actual “thing” instead of just a time filler. I am still climbing that mountain.”
Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years:
“Actually create a series with and publish a book. I have some thoughts of what I want to do but it is still in the abstract.”
Lisa Moore is one of our featured artists for our upcoming show: Form Figure Gesture, which opens this Thursday, May 30th 6—8PM. We hope to see you there.