Category Archives: Experience

The Trailer Project is here.

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Walking down my street toward the Milagro Allegro Community Garden, behind the Historic Highland Theatre, I saw a friend passing by and had an idea (a good one, I might add!)

She is a well-respected artist that has been a consistently active part of Los Angeles art culture for the past 30 years. She crafts one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry from the studio built on her exotic property amid the urban neighborhood. To see her art click here.

I had passed by the old trailer in her yard for the better part of two years. My roommates were physicists (yeah…I know) in their final year of their doctoral programs at CalTech in Pasadena, and I knew it would be crunch time for them study-wise. (Or maybe rent was just going up…I can’t remember—moving on!) Either way, I was on the prowl for a cool space.

So I asked with nothing really to lose.  If she thought I was crazy, I could just say I was joking—if she said yes, uh,  then I was just going to figure out what to do  from there?

I asked if I could move into the 1969 19′Silver Streak “Jet” I had seen so many times before, parked right there in her front yard. Silver Streaks are made by the same people who make ‘Airstreams’, but the Silver Streak is entirely insulated (and maybe a little cooler?)

Welp, I’m guessing from the title of the post, you guessed that she said “yes’, and you’re right.

Being a self proclaimed minimalist, the move was really just across the street, my belongings were inside the trailer (whose insides hadn’t really seen the light of day in years) in about an hour and a half. When that was done and the deal was made, I laid the idea of completely renovating the trailer on the table, and again, to my surprise, she was completely on board.

Wasn’t expecting that…

Nothing I couldn’t handle! There were a lot more cabinets and weird wooden fixtures on inside than I had expected. I learned later it had been used as a mobile office for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power during the 60s and 70s.

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I’d recently acquired a lot of tools and some quality lumber and figured since I had time off from work, it was clearly an sign that I should take on this sort of project. I was excited about it, and ready for it.

There was probably an easier way to go about gutting the inside, but I took a sledgehammer and sort of let it do its thing. When that led to a flurry of splinters and small episodes of heat exhaustion, I broke down and just unscrewed the stupid cabinets like I was supposed to in the first place…

From then, it was actually pretty streamlined!

There were some original components of the trailer that I wanted to keep, so I set them aside, treated and replaced them later.

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To assist in making it possible to work in the grueling heat, a friend and I were able to insert air vents in the top of the trailer.

I knew some pieces were going to be essential and had to be addressed first; a bed, a desk, closet space, and some air circulation—in the winter? Well, some heat!

After clearing the insides and scrubbing down years of grime from the walls and repainting them with a few coats of stark white paint, it was pretty easy to envision where I wanted to go from there.

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Sure, it might not look like much…but this soon became the most important art project of mine. Most of my free time went into the trailer. I realized these sorts of projects were probably never really “finished”, and that’s okay. Slowly but surely, she started to really feel like home.

I scored some solid hardwood cherry floors, and that made a HUGE difference.

After using some of the lumber I got from a carpenter/artist pal of mine up in the San Francisco area (he also owns BayAreaCustomFurniture and is one of my favorite painters), it was time to move things in.

At this phase, the trailer really started to reflect my personality more. Because of the tiny-home living situation aka, little to no space, it caused me to really shed possessions that I didn’t use or didn’t need anymore. A fresh start!

I got some cool vintage pieces, and started collecting pictures and art that I organized to hang on my salon style wall. I painted the inside of the door yellow, got some awesome indoor plants, hung up some lanterns for light, and kicked back back to revel in what it had become. The sounds of angry drivers peeling around corners, crying babies,  and helicopters flying overhead during the night, shining their lights into my little trailer, became my tropical breeze. Home, sweet home. It really is where you park it!

This all sounds like it might have happened in a day, but it was really more of a two month, or so, long process. Plus, I never seize to add little details here and there, or continue going back and finishing odds and ends that were overlooked before.

Feeling like a proud parent, and loving my neighborhood more than ever, I posted a couple blog pieces on The Whirling Girlish, showcasing how far we’d come as well as the beautiful and unique surrounding neighborhood that the trailer and myself call “home”!

You can go back and check out the articles here.

trailer update 2

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*I should note that the bed situation is WAY more comfortable than it looks.

Even though I was pleased with the interior transformation, and of course loved her for what she was already (I accepted her!), I couldn’t help but wish I had a more clear idea of what I wanted to do on the outside. There was the beautiful deck that I was using all the time, which really is a social space. Having people over at the trailer gets sort of crammed inside.

Like many things that are overthought, nothing really progressed after a while. I added some plants or pieces that were “works in progress”, but there’s no doubt there were alterations I wanted to make. It really just came down to a matter of “when and how?”.

And just like so many things that are overthought, so many things are also rushed. I decided to let the exterior of the trailer happen organically to give myself time to really get things done completely.

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She had just pitched and successfully sold a show concept for EllenTube called Grand Design.

Here’s how it would go down;

A pair of contractors/TV personalities, originally from HGTV referred to as The Cousins, would come in with a team and re-design the outside deck—all within 24 hours, and all for under $1,000.

Was this real? Did I say “yes”?! Of course! They didn’t have to ask me twice. I was on board, they were excited about the project, and they would be at the gate, hammer in hand, at the end of the month.

Woah, man. What had I done right recently?

True to their word, it all happened, and it was an amazing experience in time. I met the cousins, saw that they were in love with the property, neighborhood, and most importantly, the trailer. They were excited about the project and it relieved any apprehension I had experienced leading up to the moment.

The anticipation about killed me…but it was worth it. The experience and end result are beyond what I had fathomed.

See for yourself. 

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Uh, yeah I was stoked.

But it wasn’t just me. Thousands of other people thought the transformation was amazing too! What a cool show. Something I had wanted to do for so long, completed in a day. Amazing. Not to mention it was EXACTLY what I wanted. I wouldn’t (and haven’t) changed a thing.

 

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She’s pretty dreamy looking at night time too.

 

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Want to see the episode? Click HERE! Enjoy! 

 

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Home is where you park it! : Tiny living in my freshly renovated vintage Silver Streak trailer in Highland Park! (I did it under $1500)

Original post here: Home is where you park it! : Tiny living in my freshly renovated vintage Silver Streak trailer in Highland Park! (I did it under $1500)

trailer update 2

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The Whirling Girlish for @HappeninginHighlandPark !

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As of late I’m writing for @HappeninginHighlandPark (http://happeninginhighlandpark.com) and below is a feature that just posted today about the urban garden in, you guessed it—Highland Park!

Link to full article here!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The time has come! The Best of Craigslist LIVE! is having our “12 Days of Craigsmas” Holiday Performance…and it’s TONIGHT!

Do you live in Los Angeles? Do you like laughing? Do you find that you like laughing with people who aren’t annoying, or laughing because of the delirium that has set in after three hours of idling on the 405 during rush hour traffic? Then, boy, do I have something for you…

That’s right! It’s here! The Best of Craigslist Live! is have our holiday performance tonight in the MiMoDa Studio at the Paper or Plastik Cafe. Here are what the official details look like: 

Best of CL Live Official Event Info Screen Shot

And I wish I could give you a taste of what’s to come in the show tonight, but then I would have to label this post as Not Safe For Work, and that would do me no good! 

It’s gong to be a great show with some even better material. The only things better than both of the betters that I have listed is the audience members, which always succeed in making The Best of CL Live! shows as amazing and absurd as they are. 

If you just want to walk in without knowing what to expect (my hat’s off to you), then see you later! For the rest of you that like to do a little research before hand ( no shame, no shame) then here’s a little more about The Best of Craigslist Live! : 

the best of craigslist live cover photo official Facebook cover image john pick

 

Website: http://www.thebestofcraigslistlive.com

AND, the venue itself is pretty stellar. Check out more about the MiMoDa studio here (since you are already delved into research this far).http://www.mimodastudio.com

I also have a lot of information available on my Linkedin Account, so feel free to add me and check it out for yourself!https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreakainumajackson

As posted before, it never falls short of a good time. Just look at this picture! 

the best of craigslist live performance Facebook original image performance art comedy show mimosa theater paper or plastic cafeThose people look bored to you? Nah, I don’t think so! So come one, come all! Experience the beautiful art form that is comedy, live performance, and a display of true human eccentricities and idiosyncrasies. For more information, contact me here or refer to the official Best of Craigslist Live! Facebook page by clicking here : https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Best-of-Craigslist/556564161036696

See you there! And if you aren’t there, then, you’re probably somewhere else. 

Love always,

The Whirling Girlish 

…and then there was Occupy Beauty.

occupy beauty even hosted by melanie elkin

This past weekend, I (reluctantly) attended a six hour yoga/mind/body/female empowerment/pretty-much-anything-you-can-think-of-that’s-positive seminar that my roommate signed us up for. With my in ADD, how could she ever expect me to pay attention for six hours? But alas, we’ve both been in a funk, so, hey, why not? Like I said…I was hesitant (as well as a tad hung over). Moving on.

To say that I was completely wrong about any and all assumptions I made about Occupy Beauty hosted by Melanie Elkin would be an understatement—but not a surprise, because I am wrong about most things. The yoga only hurt my body about 40% as it probably deserved (considering the previous night’s shenanigans…bleh!), I was not being judged by a room full of stereotypical supermodels and/or beauty pageant contestants trying to pick up some “feminist buzzwords” for their next event. Nope! It was literally none of those things

After we found the location to the day retreat in the sticks of Summerland, California, we parked at the Pacifica Graduate Institute. If you have never heard of it before, then we have something in common. But now, you don’t really have that excuse, because now you know. If you ever find yourself in the Santa Barbara, CA area, I recommend you give it a look. There was a wonderful African photo exhibit and book signing. Going to assume they have rad events like that regularly. Plus, we were all there—being awesome. It’s a cool place, and easy on the eyes if you know what I’m sayin’. Scenic and whatnot. No shoes, no problem kind of deal. Anyways, moving on!

Welp! Within the first ten minutes of hearing the host, Melanie Elkin, aka the creator/founder/visionista of Yoga’licious (the host of the event) talk, I had a crush on her and was pretty much willing to do any and everything she would ask me to do for the next six hours. Don’t judge! You all would have felt that way too.

We opened up the floor in a circle *classic*, and I used it as an opportunity to scout out the 70+ women standing in the room with me. I didn’t hate it. Then we went around the room and introduced ourselves with our name and one word that represented something that we wanted to walk away from the day from. Feelings? Absolutely not! But Melanie asked, so I had to think of something. My thought pattern went something like this….

“Okay, what’s my goal for today?…c’mon, Andrea, think! Something sarcastic…lighten the mood? Yes. This is always the way to go. Wait. Uh. What is that weird feeling inside of me? Like, that lump in my throat? Why is my heart beating faster? What is this trickery?!”

Everyone kept saying their names around the circle and slowly but surely before you know it, it was my turn. So what did I say? What happened next?

I threw up. Not actual vomit. But more like “truth-vomit”. I said, “Hello, I’m Andrea, and ‘direction’.” Yep! That lump in my throat was a feeling, a goal. And I shared that shit. It felt good, and I felt lighter. Who was I fooling? I do need me some good ole fashioned direction.

The next part was probably the most interesting. Melanie spoke for a bit and we all teared up, laughed etc. Then she asked for us to think about a part of our bodies that we don’t love. Mine was easy. Come on, Mel, give me a challenge! I jotted down “love handles”. Plain and simple. But here’s the kicker. Then she asked for a volunteer to share with everyone what they had put, and to explain why.

Crickets.

Being the impulsive person I am (and extreme advert to awkward silences), I volunteered to go first. That’s right people, if I was going to do this, I might as well do it 100-effing-percent. Also, Melanie is adorable. What would you have done?!

This is an accurate depiction of how I felt as soon as I did it:

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(photo via E.T.)

She asked me to please stand up (by the way, we were all sitting on our yoga mats). So there I was, the first volunteer. I stood up, put my hands on my waist like I owned the place, and I shared. I also think I might not have been breathing. I might have also been sucking in my stomach, but it’s hard to say….the memory escapes me! Moving on.

She asked me to repeat. I did. Then she stared, where I think might have been into *my soul*, but I’m not positive, and then she asked me to explain why. By then I had exhaled and pretty much surrendered and residual possibility of  not becoming  a total Yoga’licious believer by the end of this thing. So, shit, may as well just be honest.

At first, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to say about not liking my love handles. All I knew was that they existed, and that I did not love them, and I was resentful for them having such a misleading title. But then, more of the truth-vomit! (What can I say?! That’s girl is good!). I wanted to accept my love handles, the same as how I appreciate curves in other women…as a sign of femininity. Curves are beautiful, so why not give myself the satisfaction of appreciating my own curves? Some feminist I am. I’m trying! I even volunteered one of my go-to cover-up moves…in other words—putting my hands on my hips like I own the place to cover up my love handles. I put my arms down, and still felt like I owned the place. Sort of.

Everyone listened to what each other had to say. We took in deep breaths to absorb our thoughts and to give our minds and bodies a chance to process. Duh.

We moved on to what seemed would be a simple task. Just to find a partner that you don’t know and sit down facing them. Check and check. Naudia from Argentina. I was clearly going to kick ass at this task.Then we got our instructions to just stare at each other. Piece of cake! Naudia had pretty eyes, and beautiful curly hair. Lots to look at! But then the second part of the directions—-don’t talk to each other.

Um, this was going to be an issue for me. How would I embrace a moment of true beauty and acceptance without being able to crack a joke? Welp, we found out. I could barely look at her in the eye. Why? I felt, I don’t know, guilty or something. She didn’t have a problem with it. It was easy for her. She just had a little smile the whole time.

When we were done, everyone kind of had a sigh of relief, and then we went around the room and found out how everyone’s experiences differed from each others. Holy mother of pearl! Light bulb moment. Our perception of staring and admiring is linked with negative association of judgment and hate, rather than the association it could have, of admiration and appreciation. Whoa! This is a totally different conversation for a different day, but I felt compelled (okay and impulse-d) to share now. That’s a pretty big concept to wrap my mind around! And I did it in three minutes of staring.

Like I said, this Melanie woman is good.

She had me thinking all like:

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(photo via Bob’s Burgers on FOX)

Not going to beat around the bush. The rest of the day was awesome. We did an hour of yoga. I lost my footing, felt things crack, pop back into place, and burn. I felt light hearted; I felt air fill up my lungs all the way as opposed to the short spurts of breath I tend to experience during the work week. I felt…pretty good. Who’d-a-thunk-it?

Then we had a board of lecturers. They were inspirational, and I also had a crush on all of them. Shocker. Oh, give me a break…you should have heard these women speak! I fell in love and I’m feelin’ good about it. While I filled up half a notebook with quotes and ideas that I jotted down whilst they spoke, I’ll just share a few of my favorites:

 

  • Kenetia Lee– This is what Kenetia’s bio says on her website: “Kenetia Lee is one of today’s leading authorities on beauty empowerment. She is a highly respected professional Makeup Artist, Author, and Speaker with over ten years of hands-on experience.” I can dig it!

“What people project is literally never about you. Learn the difference between judgement and discernment….and get a picture of yourself that you like. Look at it when you’re feeling down. Or just use my picture. I look amazing.” (by the way, I paraphrased the last part myself…sue me)

 

  • Kellen Brugman– This is a little about Kellen, as per her website also: “Kellen Brugman is an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor, yoga teacher, writer and self-reclaimed artist based in Santa Barbara, California. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez mountains, Kellen shares the beauty of Ayurveda, yoga and writing so people can experience greater ease, peace, and creativity in their lives.”

 

“Don’t wait for the conversation you want to hear…START the conversation you want to hear!”

“Eliminate the idea of competition. Competition doesn’t exist.”

 

“Never cast your line in the old main stream.”

 

  • Dr. Tumi Johnson-…. and Tumi (whom I adored from the moment she opened her mouth!)!: “Dr. Oluwatumininu (Tumi) Johnson is an Integrative Holistic medical doctor. She is board certified in both Internal Medicine as well as Integrative Holistic Medicine….Dr. Johnson is an Assistant professor of Internal Medicine at New York University (NYU)…. She graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University Medical School and completed her medical residency at NYU with a focus in Internal Medicine/Primary Care, receiving special training in psychosocial health care during that time…. She also has expertise in nutrition with past experience running a weight management clinic in New York, serving in West Africa with Doctors without Borders to oversee nutrition clinics, and is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. ” Oh! AND she is a professional dancer too. My theory is that Tumi is actually 200 years old. That  is the only logical explanation I can come up with when I think about how one person can fit so much into one life. Her LinkedIn Account probably shut down because she had so much information.

 

  • Jackie RuckaJust a little bit about Jackie via her website…” A true Renaissance woman, Jackie is a talented artist, a highly trained psychotherapist and business professional. With an extensive background as a top-rated corporate marketing expert working with many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and Fortune 500 corporations, she incorporates her knowledge of building billion-dollar brands into building a billion-dollar mindset for success during life transitions”

These are the “Gems” of wisdom Melanie asked all the speakers to share with the group. Not sure exactly who said what, so let’s just give everyone credit! Credit isn’t what it is about anyways, right? Right…?!

“Drop your ego. Drop your control. Drop your judgement. Let it go, let it go, let it go.”

“Forgive.”

“Be fearless, and fear less. Love it is. Beauty is being. -Kaneisha

“Follow your calling, and never, ever give up.”

“Your happiness is your calling…by the way—your calling is LIFE.”

“Outer glow is a direct representation of internal happiness.”

“Am I willing? Can I commit to myself? Can I accept myself as beautiful?”

“Align yourself with YOUR truth and YOUR nature.”

Some of the generous sponsors (that I remember, and sorry in advance to the ones I failed to mention) were…

  • Lulu Lemon– Even though I think it is funny to wear the band’s shirt to their own concert, I totally came decked out in my hand-me-down Lulu Lemon garb. And I was NOT the only one, that’s for sure. We got little goodie bags at the end, and I guess they are really supportive of Occpy Beauty, so they are okay in my book.

 

  • Heather Houser handmade jewelry….we got goodie bags with really cute handmade jewelry made by one of the attendees!

 

  • The Juice Club – I drank some good juice ! There were some juice conosoirs, that’s for sure. I don’t know anything about juice other than that I drink it. But it was yummy and served to me by a tall and statuesque woman (the owner, perhaps). Not sure. But I didn’t hate it! Go get yourself  some!

 

 

  • The Power of Om Yoga Studio– I took a class here and it was fun! Cool building and good instructor. A couple of the instructors were at Occupy Beauty and proved really helpful. They don’t judge when you’ve got a mad case of shaky arm! (not that that happens to me…because it doesn’t. My arms are muscular and balancing all my weight on one arm is a piece of cake…said no one ever.) Sue me!

 

We finished up the day learning a dance by non other than the marvelous Dr. Tumi, and we danced in group across the room. We were all a bit unsure and timid at first. OKay, maybe that was just me—but then I realized that wasn’t what it was about. We were all there having fun. You can’t look stupid if you are having fun. People look beautiful when they are having fun. We all looked really beautiful.

I felt like this…in a good way:

little miss sunshine occupy beauty

(photo via Little Miss Sunshine)

So I guess, in conclusion, I didn’t really take away anything from this day at Occupy Beauty. JUST KIDDING. It moved me beyond words and I can’t wait for the next one. Everyone was awesome, and I really did walk away feeling good! It just confirmed what I already knew. It just reminded me of what I already have. I had direction all along! I just wanted to ignore it. This helps with recognizing it again. Let’s not become strangers to our self-love, y’all! Let’s occupy ourselves, and let’s occupy beauty,

Brasilian Artist Lise Forell: WWII Jewish refugee, renowned artist, woman of brilliance, innovation, and courage

by Andrea Jackson

**A re-post of an original piece written by me in October 2013. Lise Forell has been a mentor and mother-figure to my own mom for over 40 years. Her work has been admired by millions around the world, and has a message and story unique to the incredible life journey she has led. I thought it would be a nice taste of the multi-cultural make-up of Brasil during this exciting time while Brasil hosts the FIFA World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. As always, thanks for the love and support, Whirling Girlishers!  **

The story of a remarkable woman’s journey through history and her love affair with art     

In a few weeks, artist Lise Forell will be ninety years old. People from around the world will flock to her home of Sao Paulo Brazil to celebrate her life and to attend her annual holiday bizarre. Audiences stand entranced in the presence of her enormous art collections. Regular attendees meticulously analyze each piece, partaking in a ritualistic decision making process to determine the next addition to their Lise Forell collections. Among the pieces are murals portraits, landscapes, abstracts and more. One room remains unvisited by eager collectors, however. Referred to by Lise as the “forbidden room”, this untouched space houses some of Lise’s most precious works, some displaying graphic and controversial images. Some of these works might not be revealed to the public in her lifetime, because the public might not be ready, says Lise. Her signature style incorporates bold colors, a vast range of cultural situations, and even images of her dreams. It is the display of a broad range of inspiration derived from a culmination of life experiences.

“Lovingly sheltered by Nature, I can, with neither hurtful nor revolting feelings, dive into reminiscence and care for my memories. As much as the bad, as good.” – Lise Forell

Lise Forell Painting

Lise’s epic journey begins in city of Brno, the capital of Moravia. Born to Kaiser Army decorated Jewish Lieutenant Otto Forell and her mother Grete, Lise began her infant life in war torn Europe. A strict and unusual upbringing only cultivated Lise’s rebellion from the ideals of the masses, and her preferences towards humanism, pacific idealism, and awakening.

Her school years also found themselves tangled in conflict. Lise would inevitably find herself soaked in a mix of diverse cultures for the duration of her academic career. It began when the German schools converted to the Check language, and by that time, it had become too difficult for young Jewish children to be accepted into the system. It was typical for the Jewish youth to flee to countries such as Palestine to continue their educations and attempt to live in peace. Unwilling to send Lise away alone, her parents sent her to live in Belgium with her paternal grandparents. Her vast array of language would include German, Yiddish (a combination of Hebrew, Medieval German and Russian) and some Latin, among others.

Despite her young age, of about 15 or 16, Lise attended classes at the Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp. Her family displayed some sporadic hesitancy because of the liberal associations of the art world, however Lise pressed forward.

Lise Forell 2

Her time as an art student was interrupted around her final year when she was stricken ill with the Scarlet Fever. During this time, Scarlet Fever claimed the lives of thousands across Europe. Fearing for their daughter’s life, her parents were able to ruse their way into Belgium to tend to their ailing daughter. Little did they know, once they left their homeland, they would never return again.

Lise recovered from her fever, only to enter the time of the initial Nazi Invasion of 1939. This was no time for a Jew, let alone a Jewish woman. Her family vowed to stick together, and they packed what little belongings they had into a single car, and headed from the border of Spain and France. During this trek Lise and her family endured air raids, malnourishment and the piercing cold. Upon reaching their destination, they were redirected to Marseilles, finding that Jews were not permitted to cross the border.

Relentlessly, her father ,Otto, sought a way to flee Europe. The cheapest visa for purchase was to Brazil. So, Brazil it was. Although time was of the essence, it would take months for the visa to arrive. Meanwhile, Lise was able to acquire a job through an acquaintance, hand-painting cinema signs. She was a skilled worker, and in charge of painting the faces of the actors and actresses advertised in the movies. Here she endured the ridicule and harshness of her French co-workers. Alas, in the December of 1940, her family’s visa arrived. They boarded the small crowded liner named Alsina only to be held prisoner on the ship for the next seven months. Ship workers claimed the delay was a result of mechanical malfunctions on the ship, but the passengers knew otherwise.

A pit stop on Casablanca, and a brief relationship with an officer, introduced Lise to her acquiring a new method of escape. In time, her father was able to work up enough money to purchase new tickets to Brazil, despite having paid full price for the same tickets months before. This was finally their chance. By September 25 of the following year, her family touched foot in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Rapt in her new culture, Lise quickly learned the native tongue of Portuguese and observed the many layers of society in which she now called “home”. In time, her father gained a position as an accountant at a magazine, and her mother was able to earn work as a caterer. Though their living conditions were far less affluent than in their homeland, they worked hard to achieve success and networking in their new surroundings.

Lise’s passion still remained in art. Her paintings often were sold using the barter system rather than money. It was around this time she used her skills as an artist to give lessons. This would be her profession for the rest of her life.

By the time the Nazi Empire collapsed, and the end of the Second World War left the world in disarray, Lise’s family learned that many of their family had not survived concentration camps and the terror that came with them. Her life after this time would include her husbands and children, unaware of the personal struggles and experiences that have constituted Lise’s life until their existence. Her independent nature caused much of her support to reside in her lifelong friendships and community.

A short-lived marriage with her first husband, Herbert, gifted Lise her son, Gregori. A longer marriage to Leonardo Bevilcqua produced her children, Gessica, Yorick, Diego, Debora, Raffael, and an adopted son, Roberto. After separating from her second husband, Leonardo, Lise and her grown children decided to start fresh, without the presence of their distracted father. This new chapter of life would take them to the bustling city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. A fresh mindset left Lise ready to conquer anything that cam her way, and with the confidence to move forward without a man. It was here that Lise’s art classes boomed, and her artwork began to sell. Often against her will, Lise sold paintings in various exhibitions, quickly attracting attention from collectors and critics from all around.

Eventually, she was given the opportunity to venture to Israel for a show. Unaware of the affect this trip would have on her paintings, Lise agreed. This was just the beginning of several trips she would take to Israel in her lifetime. The impact of her travels to Israel in a post Holocaust world would influence not only her artwork, but even some of her children. Her daughter, Debora, would eventually immigrate to Israel permanently to be closer to her religious roots.

To this day, Lise is recognized globally by renowned organizations, publications, critics and esteemed artists. She still maintains her ever rebellious attitude on life and paints what she pleases, categorizing her works to avoid being labeled any kind of “ist”— A trait perhaps resembling that of an actual first Avant Garde.

Her artwork evokes a sense of youthful play while engaging the audience in a quest for answers. This historical effect of her paintings leaves viewers asking questions about each piece and its origins. Elaborate floral murals capture the essence of each season, while portraits of families just as equally capture struggle, devotion, and love. Such an extensive and inclusive body of work provides aesthetically and emotionally appealing works for almost any human, despite background or beliefs. It is this that makes not only Lise’s work, but her actual self unique. Her open-mindedness and liberal ideals encompass respect and love for all, opening doors not only for her art, but soul.

She continues to draw inspiration from friends, family, students (which often refer to herself as family), and her country retreat. Like a true artist, Lise finds refuge in her country home which she calls SCHALOM, to escape the masses recharge her senses, and re-establish her relationship with nature. She returns from her sporadic retreats, with ample motivations to lay down her paintbrush to canvas and create her next masterpiece. Lise Forell shows no signs of slowing down, with scheduled classes every day, and multiple projects posted on easels around her studio at once. Her plants are always maintained and lively, while her many cats purr by her ankles.

It is powerhouse women such as Lise Forell which exemplify the notion that following your passion in life can defeat almost any obstacle despite the ideas of others. She is an example for young women and all artists alike to work hard and diligently towards a cause, despite outlying factors and naysayers. Not only does each piece of art Lise Forell creates embrace the past, but it also charges forward fearlessly into the future.

More information on Lise Forell can be found in her published book “Contrasts”.

An award winning film has been created by European filmmakers, following the incredible story of Lise. Trailer Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdJzizXxBz8