We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Cardenas and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lisa, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
Sometimes, instead of naming my artwork on my online posts, I’ll find a quote that expresses something about the work or how I felt while painting it. There is, however, one, in particular, that I like from Albert Einstein: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Being immersed in nature, like a forest or on a lake or gazing out to the ocean, I feel a deeper sensitivity, and feel so alive. I notice the smallest details like the sounds of the birds, or water flowing or branches snapping. I notice the way leaves change color with the setting of the sun. As the light changes, so does the view. Nature is an endless canvas. Throughout my life, in nature I have found peaceful answers to deep questions. When my husband of 30 years (Rene Cardenas) passed suddenly, some years ago, during my grieving process, I ended up taking a 5000 mile journey through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Montana and Wyoming. In many spots along the way I would hike into the unknown trails, face different risks and adventures and find amazing vistas to lose myself in the environment. On all of my trails, in overcoming the challenges, I found inner strength. And from within the natural beauty, a soft and gentle hope emerged. Nature is a great inspiration to me, and I think that, indeed, it helps me to understand most things better. It definitely stimulates expression in my artwork adding life and excitement.  

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I was recently asked if I could paint still-life or in a realism style. the answer is yes, I have painted many works in that style. however, I have chosen to be an abstract artist. My abstract work reflects fluidity of emotion and or past experiences. It brings those to life on canvas in a way that allows viewers to see more than a snapshot. Because my abstract expression lacks in definition, I think it allows deeper more fluid creativity. The emotions and expressions coming through in my art are unbound by limits. I think this allows others to see whatever ignites them. In 2011, I had a solo show in the Eisman Center. I spoke to a man who was looking at one of my smaller paintings. He studied the painting for some time and then turned to me with great emotion and said, “In your painting, I see myself holding my daughter.” 

I have been developing for some time, my unique style of applying and removing layers of paint. In most all of my works, you can find various colorful layers which I then “work” by removing small or large areas using different tools and techniques. I feel in some ways this mimics ever-changing landscapes or even the removal of the old to expose beauty in nature. Much like a butterfly sheds its cocoon, or the cutting open of a peach to see the beautiful, rich color inside. 

I liken my latest styles to surfing. Yes! I think surfers are fearless as to take on huge waves, allowing themselves to propel from huge heights downward at top-speed. in one motion they are exhilarated. In the same manner, I take on my “waves” of emotion and creativity. In one motion I find joy in my expression. I find myself perfecting this fluid-like motion on canvas. 

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Right off the bat, to start each day, I am a girl who loves routine. So, every day will be started with the one fuel I need to exist: McDonald’s Coffee! Then we could show them some of the things we like here. We love to hike, and the DFW area has some nice trails. We would probably take our guests to the Lake Lewisville Environmental Learning Area Nature Preserve. It has several nice trails below the Lake Lewisville dam. We also love to hike the trails around Grapevine Lake as well as the trails below Lake Ray Roberts, or even the Old Alton Bridge. We just moved to Oak Point, so our guests would be treated to a few of our new-found favorites such as the Prairie House Restaurant (off of 380 near Crossroads), the Hula-Hut in Little Elm on the shores of Lake Lewisville which is just next to the Hydrous Wake Park where you can watch water skiers and wakeboarders practice on a cable pull. Down the street from that, is a Mexican restaurant, Los Jalapenos, which we found to be good-tasting and budget-friendly. Some of our other DFW favorites also include Mediterranean restaurants Like Dimassi’s, Shandiz, or Afrah. We have been loving the new area we’ve moved to. Our quiet neighborhood borders Lake Lewisville and most every evening you’ll find us driving our little golf cart down to the park shores to enjoy the sunset. We have also had great times when venturing out to downtown Dallas like to Deep Ellum. Louie Louie’s Dueling Piano Bar is a big hit with us. We sang loudly and lively along with the crowd. That whole area has much to offer in food, music and art. Of course, staying at home would be fine too by just picking up a “Cubetazo” (Bucket) of grilled chicken with whole roasted jalapenos and fresh tortillas from El Rancho Supermercado. We would also include a few daytrips to some surrounding areas. Caddo Lake is just 3 hours away and is a must to see. The lake is stunning in a bayou sort-of-way. Tall Bald Cypress tress enshroud the lake all draped with Spanish Moss. We took the GoDevil boat tour and loved it. While visiting Caddo, we could spend the night in historic Jefferson. We stayed in the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast which offers big scrumptious breakfasts and great nightly happy hours around the campfire. Jessie and her husband (the owners originally from Lake Dallas) were fantastic hosts. Take a rolling cooler with you on the Ghost Tour. We made friends passing out cold beer to some of our fellow ghost hunters as we walked around the quaint downtown. Another cool daytrip would be to go hiking at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. About a 3-hour trip up into Oklahoma, the pink granite-bouldered park has numerous trails. Caution though: we saw an absolutely massive rattlesnake right next to our trail. Finish off the day in the nearby Meers Store and Restaurant. The Seismic Burger is huge and homemade desserts are superb.  

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family, throughout the entire process of my art career, has been my rock of support. They have been my best critics and cheerleaders. I remarried 3 years ago to my adorable husband, Patrick. He loves to help me in any way he can, like building frames for me or hunting down bargains on paints and supplies or driving miles to acquire canvas rolls to keep the artwork flowing. Daily, my 3 daughters Gabby, Alicia and Ashley and I, chitchat via text messages about the photos of my latest works. They give me their thumbs up (and thumbs down!) and impressions or even suggestions. They know my progression. I love the support and love they give me.

Website: www.lisas-artgallery.com
Instagram: lisacardenas325@instagram.com
Twitter: Lisacardenas@escapist325
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lisa.cardenas.1238
Other: Phone: 972-891-2736 lisacardenas325@gmail.com

Image Credits
Adrian Torres, Patrick Ludolph

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