Lisa S. Roberts
“The distinguishing features of my work are the medium of cut paper collage and the graphic colors. Color, in fact, is the most important aspect of my work. I select the first few colors, and then keep adding to them until I get that ’jolt’, the physiological reaction when having just the right palette. The tools of my trade are surgical scissors, X-ACTO knife, double stick tape and colored papers. I am a trained architect, a product and graphic designer, author of 4 books, and an artist. It’s a thrill to be exhibiting with Morton Contemporary Art Gallery. There are three types of work in this show:
Architectural Interiors: These are based on photographs of room settings that I translate into cut paper collage. The creative part is figuring out just how much information to include or not include to get the essence of the environment. I also like to change up what I see in the photos and ‘redecorate’ or ‘renovate’ the space, adding my own color palette or decorative objects. In order to give some life to the rooms, I frequently add my black cat, Mr. Waffles. Whether he’s being mischievous, curious, or just taking a nap, he always animates the space.
Book Illustrations: These are from my recently published book, What is Good Design: A Simple Question without a Simple Answer (Schiffer Publishing, May 2022). The book features cut paper illustrations of objects of good design ranging from the iPhone, to Legos, to Swiss Army Knife etc. With some of the illustrations, I have left in the pencil marks from the page layouts to show process. In other instances, the objects stand on their own.
Abstracts: My abstract art is driven purely by color. It takes a long time to get the right color palette, and even then, I’m continually modifying it. Once I get that little surge of excitement, I know I am there and can move forward. There are two groups in this show:
Swatch Series: This group combines five or six similar colors in the same family. Then, to create some tension and energize the canvas, I include one or two contrasting colors. The colors are cut into strips and then layered and overlapped. At the bottom of each piece, there is a color-swatch code. I liked using this as a distinctive signature element, as well as making reference to my past as a product designer. In the years before digitization, printers used Pantone color-chip books that looked like these swatches.
Duo Series: This series combines two contrasting fields of color. Each field is predominantly a single color made up of many variations of that color. In order for these two fields of color to relate or ‘talk’ to each other, they share a color or colors in common."