Lisa Deen

Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Featured Work: Roots

Roots, 2019, Linocut, 14 x 14″

Describe your featured work:
My newest pieces delve more into our relationship with the natural world. We use and abuse natural resources and then try to recreate them with synthetic materials. Where I live in Colorado, the construction fad is using fabricated materials that look natural: ceramic tiles that look like stone, siding that looks like wood, and more. This piece is one of my most recent linocuts. In the second image it has been collaged onto a wood panel with blue pencil lines reminiscent of blueprints and construction plans.

Artist’s Statement:
My desire is to make work that is grounded in experience over thoughts or words, contemplative with an invitation for observation and reflection. My inspiration is the natural world: the fluid shapes of succulents, patterns of water on sand, twisting branches of trees. I see the patterns, shapes, and textures of nature as infinitely complex and interesting. I also experience a disconnect between the natural world and our lives. 
The grid is an imposed order that connects our homes and offices — it is also the rules of life. “Thou shall” and “Thou shall not.” The line in the sand. I use a grid because it is comforting, orderly, familiar. It is the structure of life. But we are not grids, we are energy. We need to enter the forest; submerse ourselves in water; feel the weather pummel our skin. We also need order and rules for this life.

Ancestors 12, 2018, Acrylic and Linocut, 14 x 42″

What are you making now?
For the past year and a half, I’ve been creating linocuts of old trees and collaging them into geometric acrylic paintings. I consider myself a painter, not a printmaker. But the linocuts have been a revelation. I’ve always taken pictures of old, gnarled trees, but I was never going to paint them. One day when I was teaching about printmaking, a lightbulb went on. Linocuts would be a perfect medium for the trees. But as an abstract painter, I just had to start cutting them up and collaging them.

Ancestors 1, 2018, Linocut and Acrylic, 14 x 14″

I belong to CIVA because…
For most of my life as an artist, I’ve felt alone. My education was during the 80s and 90s, and the emptiness of Postmodernism left me feeling that there wasn’t a place for me in the art world. Right around the time I started graduate school, I came across an issue of IMAGE in a local bookstore. It was an amazing discovery, because I saw successful artists who were wrestling with serious issues of faith. Two decades passed before I was able to attend an IMAGE conference and learn about CIVA. I attended my first CIVA conference in June. Wow! Thank you all for being CIVA. I not only feel connected but also challenged to dialogue with the world through my art.

Ancestors with Colors of Chaparral, 2018, Acrylic and Linocut, 28 x 28″
Reconstruction, 2019, Linocut and Acrylic, 24 x 24″
Roots Trunk Crown, 2019, Acrylic and Linocut, 36 x 36″

Brief Bio:
Lisa is an artist, wife, mother of twins, educator, and Westerner. Born in California, raised in Colorado, educated in Minnesota, she then circled back around for another go. Married in Denver, moved to Santa Barbara, and back to Colorado Springs. The geographic narrative and the physical environment is imprinted on her visual vocabulary and personal aesthetic showing the strong influence of the landscape of the arid southwest.

Lisa’s education includes a BA from St. Olaf College with majors in music and visual art and a MA from the University of Northern Colorado. She teaches art at Pikes Peak Community College.