Lisa Gilley

Lisa Gilley

"When I am not in the studio I am paddling the rivers of the Puget Sound, riding my horses, and hiking in the mountains. I have lived in Washington state my whole life. Raised in the Skagit Valley farmlands, I now have my own farm on Marrowstone Island. You could say my hands are planted in the dirt, my feet in our tidelands.

I have always been drawn to the narrative landscape paintings of the Early American Modernists, such as Rockwell Kent and Georgia O'Keeffe. Their work, as many other artists of their time, placed importance upon an individual's ability to experience direct and powerful emotional experiences in nature.  

Maybe this is why my paintings always seem to come back to the land, no matter what.  I was raised on it; I live on it; and I want it to remain unscathed. There is a sign at the rim of the Grand Canyon which reads: One minute, don't read, don't talk, no photos, just look....and see. When I saw that sign I said, this is why I make my art.

For years I worked in soft pastels, building layer upon layer with finite strokes to enhance the movement and depth of space. But then I discovered oil. And I have carried that same technique into my oil paintings, now using layers of glazes until I finally arrive at the right depth of realism—even though the content often borders on abstract.

Towards the end of making a painting I use the tiniest brushes. They help me apply the rules of Chiaroscuro to increase the drama. I spend obsessive amounts of time in a small area such as a mountain peak or a slice of a stream. Each fragment becoming its own experience for me. "Little paintings within paintings" is what a friend once said about my work. When layers of oil paint glazes are laid onto a board or canvas, they continue to cure and dance as the painting ages.

This is why I chose to work in oil, because of its ability to enhance the movement already intentionally laid down by my brushstrokes. All in hope to create its opposite effect—to invite the viewer to experience stillness.  Just for a moment. Just long enough to notice that which surrounds us."             --Lisa Gilley

Peyto Lake (Banff National Park, Alberta Canada) | 30" x 61" | oil on panel | 2018

The Bucket, ( Salmon River, ID) | 25" x 25" | oil on panel | 2019

Mist Above the Salmon, ( Salmon River, ID) | 37" x 49" | oil on panel | 2019

Lava Lake, (Craters of the Moon, National Monument, ID.) | 37" x 61" | oil on panel | 2019

Elwha Unleashed, (Olympic National Park, WA) | 49" x 37" | oil on panel | 2019

Tempestuous, (Denali National Park, AK) | 45" x 61" | oil on panel | 2019

Big Sur, CA | 13" x 17" | oil on panel | 2019

Sea Fall, Fort Meyers Beach, OR | 37" x 49" | oil on panel | 2019

Lowland Elders, Olympic National Park | 24.75" x 24.75" | oil on panel | 2020

Reclamation, Olympic National Park | 37.75" x 25.75" | oil on panel | 2020

Grinnel Lake, Glacier National Park, MT | 37" x 37" | oil on panel | 2017

Prince Williams Sound (Prince Williams Sound, AK) | 31" x 49" | oil on panel | 2015

Cloud Burst, Big Bend/Big Hill Banff National Park, Alberta | 37" x 49" | oil on panel | 2017

Autumn Glow, Grand Canyon South Rim | 41" x 60" | oil on panel | 2017

Big Bend, Zion National Park | 49" x 37" | oil on panel | 2017

Freya Castle/Vishnu Temple, Grand Canyon National Park | 25" x 37" | oil on panel | 2017

Cape Final ~ Grand Canyon National Park (North Rim) | 37" x 25" | oil on wood | 2017

Wotan's Throne ~ Grand Canyon National Park (North Rim) | 49" x 73" | oil on wood | 2017

McKinley River Flats, (Denali National Park, AK) | 37" x 61" | oil on panel | 2016

Alaska Range-Toklat River (Denali National Park, Alaska) | 37" x 37" | oil on panel | 2016

Palouse Falls Canyon | 61" x 37" | oil on panel

Lower Palouse Falls | 37" x 49" | oil on wood

Eielson Basin, (Denali National Park, AK) | 49" x 37" | oil on panel | 2015

Upper Teklanika, (Denali National Park, AK) | 49" x 91" | oil on panel | 2014

Teklanika River (Denali National Park, AK) | 49" x 73" | oil on panel | 2014

Ebey's Weather, (Ebey's Landing National Historic Reserve, Whidbey Island) | 31" x 61" | oil on panel | 2012