Double the fun
That is, there will not be a single Emerging Artist — but there will be two. According to Janet Watermeier, executive director of the VAC, it was decided that one artist would be chosen to represent two-dimensional art, and another whose forte is three-dimensional art.
As it turns out, both are abstract artists — but that’s where the similarity stops. Painter Gina Battle creates her bold, expressive designs on canvas, while Lise Lindsay’s primary medium for her colorful pieces is glass.
Gina Battle can’t slow down
January was a banner month for Ms. Battle, heralding her return to Punta Gorda’s Artisan’s Atelier, 117 Herald Court Centre, Unit 113. She had previously occupied a space there from November 2013 to May 2016, but left to pursue other interests in addition to her art.
When Florida Weekly first caught up with Ms. Battle during her first tenure in the Atelier, she couldn’t have been busier. In addition to her painting — which was selling so well she couldn’t keep any inventory in stock — she was also modeling (it seemed as if there wasn’t a publication in the area that didn’t have her on the cover or at least in a story) and freelance writing (for a time, she also added radio personality to her list of accomplishments, as she had her own motivational show geared toward women empowering themselves to achieve success — and she also has a degree in theater and studied fashion design when she was younger and was a participant in the 2016 Dancing with the Charlotte Stars fundraiser).
“I’ve sold five paintings in the past three weeks,” she had said. “Earlier this year, there was an 11-day period when I sold 15 paintings. It just wouldn’t stop. It’s great because the art is getting out, but you also have to have the inventory. And I’m not a machine.”
Now, mind you, Ms. Battle’s artwork ranges in price from several hundred to more than $1,000 to purchase.
“Surprisingly, I’ve sold nationally and internationally,” she said. “I’ve sold to celebrities and CEOs. I even have collectors.”
Her prospects in 2017 don’t look as if they’re slowing down, either — although she’s making some of her art more financially accessible.
She is currently in the midst of her “100 Days Series Challenge.” Ms. Battle is selling original works for the dollar value of each day of the challenge. It began on March 7, with a 6-by-6-inch painting selling for $1. Each day, she sends a photo of that day’s painting via email. The painting goes to the first person who requests it. Buyers from outside the area must pay shipping costs, while locals may pick up the paintings in person by appointment at Ms. Battle’s studio at the Artisan’s Atelier.
“I hope many will join me on this experimental journey to keep the arts alive and thriving,” Ms. Battle said. “I have become increasingly aware that people think my paintings do not fit their budget. These are the people who have not inquired about prices when they see a piece of my art they like online. Fear not, I have price points to meet all budgets.”
Also on her agenda: in August, she will be the premier artist in exhibit at the prestigious Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers. At home in Charlotte County, she is scheduled for three showings of the Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County’s Art in Public Places program.
“I have one now in Kays-Ponger Uselton Funeral Homes in Punta Gorda,” Ms. Battle said, “then Bayfront Hospital in May to June, then September to October at Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home.
“Then I’m going to have a nervous breakdown in November to December,” she quipped.
The self-taught artist (whose motto is, “Paint outside the lines”) was a natural when it came to artistic talent.
“I used to draw pictures and people didn’t believe they were mine — they thought I was tracing,” she said.
Ms. Battle’s unique, non-traditional approach is not singular in thought or concept. Her art is based on pure emotion and what’s happening at any given moment along her life journey. She feels one of the most thrilling aspects of painting is waiting to see what will happen to the blank canvas.
Lise Lindsay transmits the light
Perhaps no other medium reflects color and light the way glass does — which is why Ms. Lindsay is attracted to it.
“I’ve been doing art most of my life, and I’ve been doing glass for the last seven years,” she said. “I also work in clay and metal, and I paint as well.”
Despite the uniqueness of her work, Ms. Lindsay wasn’t always a full-time artist. Although a fine arts major in college, she switched to the more practical fields of computer science and accounting.
“I was also a CPA, so I spent a lot of time wishing I could do art,” she said. “But you’ve got to pay the mortgage.”
When she retired six years ago, not only was paying the mortgage not an issue, she also had the funds to travel around the country, attending workshops with well-known glass artists.
“I buy all my glass out of Portland, Oregon, from the Bullseye Glass Company,” Ms. Lindsay explained. “They are just a creative force in the glass industry. They’re innovative and have a consistent quality, a color palette that’s like no other — and they have working artists in their resource center so they’re able to come up with some great product.”
She also works in metals and recently took a class with Portland-based artist Morgan Madison, who used to work at Bullseye.
“He does a lot of architectural types of designs,” Ms. Lindsay said, “and I look forward into incorporating what I learned into new pieces.”
So inspired, she plans to create similar pieces — with her own twist.
“I’m going to be building some pieces that are sculptural,” she said. “In other words, I’m going to be making frames out of maybe brass, maybe copper, maybe silver — I don’t know. I’m going to be pulling my torch out soon and spend some time making more architectural, three-dimensional pieces but including my glass. I will probably be creating, more than anything, a frame. I see myself creating interesting kinds of frames or towers out of the metal, and being able to insert some of my compositions into that sculpture.”
No matter what other media she uses, glass doesn’t seem to be far away.
“With glass, I love the reflective qualities, the transmission of light and color,” she said. “Glass has properties that, when you combine certain kinds of it with heat, creates a chemical reaction. I really enjoy the experimentation of the science as well as the art — heat, reaction, color.
“Color and light and transmitting the light are what’s important to me,” she said, “and being able to come up with a composition that brings both together.”
For more information, visit www.seagrapegallery.com/lise-lindsay. ¦