Inside the Studio

Lisa Kowalski

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
I work abstractly without any direct connection to anything. A quote that I really like by Philip Seymour Hoffman is, “It’s all a risk. Living a life is basically about you entering one situation after another that you may not want to enter. Everything has stakes, everything has meaning, everything has consequences.” Painting is this in a sense. You have to be bold and not afraid to put it all out there, make mistakes, and take risks.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Don’t consider what anyone else is going to think of your work. Just paint.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
It varies. There are times I prefer nothing, quiet and uninterrupted. No influence. That’s usually the case when I’m just beginning a new body of work. Once I’m rolling and everything is feeling good, I crank up the music and dance as I paint. That’s bliss.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
A blank canvas. A piece of my husband’s work. I love his view.

Who are your favorite writers?
Truthfully, I haven’t been reading very much lately. The book on my nightstand is Art in America 1945-1970 by Jed Perl.