solo show: lisa congdon

A week ago I wrote about an artist I would most like to spend a day with – Frida Khalo. Maybe it is because I hate having to choose just one thing (hey! I am multi-passionate!) but I think that question should be a two parter. Part A: dead artist you would most like to meet and spend the day with, and Part B: alive artist you would most like to meet and spend the day with. I think that’s only fair.

I came across my Part B many years ago. I had been following an early Typepress blog written by her sister who was a Mom and a craft artist. A blog post linked to her sister, Lisa Congdon. And soon, I was following both sisters and their individual journeys in life and art making.



LisaCongdon-IntheClouds LisaCongdon-ThePath

Initially what drew me to Lisa Congdon was the candid way she was exploring her art making. Her blog was an on-going peek at a developing artist. And being an artist and art appreciator myself, I loved watching the progression and reading about her experiences. Simultaneously, the indie art and design world began to sing her praises. And rightly so. Lisa Congdon’s art is beautifully controlled. Her art is soft spoken with every line and colour applied thoughtfully. I love her palette (hurray for electric pink!) and her use of pattern.

LisaCongdon-SamiWoman LisaCongdon-HoodedReindeer LisaCongdon-FolkHausLisaCongdon-NordicFisherman

What makes Lisa an interesting artist to watch is that she is always creating new work / projects derived from self created challenges, like A Collection a Day (which was turned into a book), 365 Days of Hand Lettering, and A Year of Reconstructionists (with writer Maria Popova).

 LisaCongdon-AmeliaErhart LisaCongdon-BillieHoliday

LisaCongdon-MarieCurie LisaCongdon-MayaAngelou

If I was to spend a day with Lisa, I would hope we’d mix walking and exploring her hood in Oakland (which I don’t know at all) or her old stomping grounds of San Francisco (which I love) with some creating time in her studio. And hopefully I would get an tour of her home because I am sure it is thoughtfully displayed with handmade goods from her artistic family and friends. Even though I have heard snippets of interviews with Lisa, I would talk to her about her evolution as an artist and the business of being an artist. I would bring her a present of my homemade blueberry jam because she seems like a gal that would appreciate wild blueberry jam.

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Lisa Congdon lives and works in Oakland, California. (FYI – the sister whom I mentioned at the beginning of my post is Stephanie Congdon Barnes. She is a talented photographer and craftsperson.)


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