At the age of thirty three I began to recover memories which altered my perception of who I am and the family in which I grew up. Since this time, my expressionist oil paintings have been inspired by the development and transformation of identity. I view each series of paintings as an identity timeline moving from a false identity to an integrated sense of self and finally to a shared collective identity.
Exploring personal identity has led to an evolution of different styles and iterations about the same theme. As I explore myself, the emphasis becomes a female figure along with other strange characters, natural imagery alone or a painting interpreted as whimsical or more psychological. Each painting presents a world of fantasy or organic abstraction as a metaphor for the unknown and unexpected. I begin brush strokes in earth tones, covering the canvas and creating hidden organic imagery. This movement of the paint allows me to search for lines and shapes both geometric and organic. This is reminiscent of my childhood focus on wood grain, searching for odd forms and figures. The focal point is loosely painted, transforming as the composition progresses. I love playing with color. This results in a bright and bold palette. My goal is to create a narrative that leaves room for the viewer to insert their own story.
Lisa Bartell is known for her expressionist oil paintings in which she explores the theme of identity development in childhood and its’ often sudden transformation in later years. Her work has been impacted by Modigliani and the curvilinear forms of Art Nouveau.
Bartell received a BFA at Kent State University, Ohio and an MFA at the University of Memphis. She studied drawing and painting at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pa.
Bartell began her art career as a graphic designer and illustrator. She later became a university art instructor and portrait painter. Her art career was unexpectedly disrupted for over ten years as she worked through PTSD. In 2002, Bartell returned to oil painting as a personal expression.
Bartell is an award winning artist, including the Manhattan Arts International Showcase Award for The Healing Power of Art and Award of Excellence for Herstory. She is a 2022 recipient of the Artist Support Grant from the Durham Arts Council. Bartell has had several solo exhibits as well as participation in group shows. Her work has been featured in New Visionary Art Magazine, 2023, The Woven Tale Press Arts and Literary Magazine, Art Professional Magazine (formerly Art Calendar Magazine), Artsee Magazine and local newspapers in Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill, NC. Bartell’s painting Sunflower’s Resting, was featured on Good Morning America’s segment, “Bob Woodward Reports, Unsung Heroes: Families of Wounded Soldiers.”
Bartell currently lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband Gary and dog Brooklyn. She is represented by Providence gallery, Charlotte, NC and Carlton Gallery, Banner Elk, NC.
2022 Artist Support Grant, Durham Art Guild
2022 Art 4 Animals, 4th place award for Deep Breathing.
2022 Solo International Exhibit award, Exhibizone, Canada
2014 Honorary Mention, “The Dog’s and Their Broad, Durham Art Guild Members Show, Durham, NC
2011 Certificate of Merit, Light, Space & Time Gallery
2010 Showcase Award Winner in Painting, “Positive Art that Uplifts the Spirit”, Manhattan Arts International.(Jurors: Joanie San Chirico and Renee Philips)
2004 Award of Excellence, “Herstory”, Manhattan Arts International. Jurors; Renee’ Philips of the International Association of Art Critics, Cornelia Seckel, publisher of Art Times, Corine Shane, founder and president of InvestinArt NYC, Mellissa Wolf, founder of Women’s Studio Center, NYC)
2003 Showcase Award Winner, “The Healing Power of Art”, Manhattan Arts International.
Juror, Renee’ Philips
2023 New Visionary Art Magazine Women’s Issue #5
2017 The Woven Tale Press Arts and Literary Magazine
2016 Artsy Shark Blog, Featured Artist
2011 Artsee Magazine, NC Sightseeing column by Katie Bowler
2009 The Herald Sun, Durham, “Abstraction Abounds at DAG Members Show”, by Blu Greenburg
2009 The Herald Sun Metro, Durham, “An Artists View”
2007 Painting titled, “Sunflowers Resting”, appeared on Good Morning America’s segment, “Bob Woodward Reports, Unsung Heroes: Families of Wounded Soldiers.”
2006 Art Calendar Magazine, (Currently Professional Artist Magazine), Insider Art, April 2006
2005 The Independent, Chapel Hill, NC, “Taking The Side Street”, by Doug Stuber
2004 Raleigh News & Observer, “What’s Up: Critics Picks on Best Art”, by Michele Natale
2007 Painting titled, “Sunflowers Resting”, featured on Good Morning America’s segment “Bob Woodward Reports”, Unsung Heroes: Families of Wounded Soldiers.”
Carrboro Arts Center, Carrboro, NC, drawing instructor
Private drawing and painting lessons, Durham, NC
Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, Illustration Instructor