Lisa Winika is a self-taught “outsider” artist who expresses her vision through diverse media and genre: drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, collage, and assemblage, abstract, surreal, conceptual, and visionary.
Lisa values her status as an “outsider”, saying she has the freedom to break the rules she doesn’t even know about. Working without preconceived ideas, methods, techniques, constraints, she says she can make art out of anything.
Her work can be called mystical, transcendent, blissful, haunting, weird, disturbing, complex, but usually not beautiful. Guileless, sincere, unaffected, esoteric, penetrating, her unconventional art is meant to slightly disturb the viewer and challenge the standard perceptions of reality.
Although a concept often emerges, Lisa neither plans her work nor tries be significant, but rather relies on humor, spontaneity, and whimsy to create an opening. Her work is a process of discovery. She allows herself to be surprised and feels each work has a life of its own, she is only the vehicle by which they are born, the channel for their creation.
Her work is informed by her profound interest in both science and spirituality, which she ardently believes are neither opposed to one another nor even separate, but rather two means of plumbing the source of life and its manifestation as the inner and outer worlds.
Lisa brings it all to her palette … a lifetime of spiritual seeking, 35 years of meditative practice and mystical experience … studies in Vedanta, healing, pathology, biology, quantum physics, and literature … work with the mentally ill and physically frail … travels in India … love of nature, hiking, kayaking, the river … her intellect, her wit, her suffering, her passion, her joy, and her Love.
Exploration of abandoned places plays significantly into her work. Moved by what she describes as “a beautiful entropy, light on dust motes and the detritus of unknown lives,” her photos, and recovered mementos — a crushed can, a forgotten letter, a broken toy, even animal remains — become important and transcendent elements of her work, binding her life to those who touched these items before and to those who will see them as art. Past and future, lost and found, discarded and recovered, this element of the interconnectedness of all things flows eloquently through Lisa’s work. She sees magnificence in what is commonly conceived of as mundane, even ugly, revealing what is sacred and sublime within the seemingly profane.
Lisa started to work as an artist only five years ago. After struggling for several years with a severe depression, during which she said that art was the only thing that seemed to make
sense, she emerged from her “dark night of the soul” by means of a profound awakening that made artistic expression a spiritual imperative. She wrote, “I wept … so moved by the ineffable, deep, unutterable mystery expressed (by art). I long to be part of that mystery. I ache profoundly to express myself in these ways. I am frightened and humbled to even try, but try I must.”
With new found purpose she built her controversial Blue Studio in the historic district of Rhinebeck, learning and inventing carpentry skills as she progressed. The whimsical space, always an evolving work of art in itself, is made largely from reclaimed materials: a 24-foot high ceiling made from old doors, siding taken from a collapsing barn, patron bottle transoms, and all variety of found objects used in unexpected ways.
Regarding her intention as an artist she quotes two beloved masters:
“Art must be an expression of love or it is nothing at all.” — Marc Chagall
“Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me.” — D.H. Lawrence
In addition to her artistic endeavors, Lisa works as an interfaith minister, a massage therapist, an energy healer, a master gardener, and a registered nurse.