Tag Archives: artist

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 

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Caught in the Haze: Angel Haze’s “Same Love” Freestyle for 30-Gold

by Andrea Jackson

Revolutionary rap artist and activist Angel Hazes releases some shamelessly bold and beautiful freestyle remixes set to some of today’s most popular hits. But she’s doing it with a twist.

Angel haze same love dirty gold 30 gold remixes for whirling girlish

(Photo via Angel Haze website)

Angel Haze, born Raykeea Wilson, is as much a societal trailblazer as she is a rising rap artist. The career of the 22 year old has come a long way since its genesis on Tumblr just a couple of years ago. But her story starts way before then. At age 16, Haze left her strict Pentecostal Greater Apostolic Church community in Detroit, Michigan and set out for Brooklyn, New York with her mother. Here, she was able to begin to tackle the mental and traumatic scarring inflicted by her unique religious upbringing which she now refers to as “a cult”. Haze might be new to the music scene, but notable sources like Flavorwire are already deeming her the “most important rapper of 2013”. Notice this label is not gender specific. That’s right. Angel Haze is simply the most important and groundbreaking rapper of 2013 in general.

A self-proclaimed pansexual, Haze touches upon topics often swept under the rug in mainstream music. Her much anticipated debut album Dirty Gold is scheduled for release in January 2014. In preparation for the album’s release, Haze is currently releasing one freestyle cover track a day for the next 30 days as a part of her 30-Gold series.

Her freestyle cover of “Same Love” by Mackelmore and queer artist, Mary Lambert, explores the ever present topic of burgeoning sexuality. Sure, Mackelmore’s heart was in the right place when he released “Same Love”, but Haze has taken it further. Bold lyrics and personal accounts of Haze’s own sexuality create her honest, raw, and heart wrenching seven minute SoundCloud track. The original ‘Same Love” music video links the civil rights movement of yesteryear to the gay rights movement of today. Despite inspiring images of Martin Luther King Jr. and such, the music video paints too pretty a picture of the nature of gay rights justice in the present. While the surface message of the original version is noble, Mackelmore implies that there is an “us” or a “norm” that the LGBTQ community should be accepted into. Angel Haze throws out that idea entirely, and instead makes her version of “Same Love” dedicated to eliminating stereotypes and rather appreciating separate cultures for what they are. She challenges labels and the ideas of the entity of “us” because she understands that the reality is that we are all different, and there is no one way be.

Angel Haze doesn’t shun away the complexities and complications of gender. Many artists today, try to over simplify issues, by pooling people together, and creating generalizations. But it doesn’t work that way. It is important to resist this movement, for the reason that equality is not based on being accepted as a part of a heteronormative standard, but rather gaining acceptance for whomever you are as a person, regardless of labels and societal generalizations. Mackelmore was on the right track with his generic anthem, but the real progress will come from the artistic pioneers that aren’t afraid to speak about real unresolved issues that others like to think don’t about.

Similar to the original version of “Same Love”, Haze begins the song with personal accounts from her past with the lyrics “At age thirteen, my mother knew I wasn’t straight/she sat me on the couch, looked me straight in the face/ and said “you’ll burn in Hell, or probably die of AIDS”.  In her own version, the lyrics transition to rage. She goes on to take a stand against labels and bigotry in the queer community with words from genderqueer poet Andrea Gibson. She concludes her freestyle with the words “No, I’m not gay/No, I’m not straight/And I sure as hell am not bisexual/Damn it I am whoever I am when I am it/Loving whoever you are when the stars shine/And whoever you’ll be when the sun rises”.

She refers to poets Andrea Gibson and Joshua Bennett as inspirational influences for her writing. Haze’s lyrics are blunt, brutal, and powerful. It is refreshing for such an innovative and young artist to make the most of her time in the spotlight to bring to surface some of the LGBTQ community’s most pressing issues. But it doesn’t stop there. Haze’s remix to Eminem’s “Cleaning out the Closet”, shocked and resonated with the public as she spit the truth about her past of sexual abuse, self-harm, and racial prejudice.

She’s already made great strides and etched a sound name for herself in the music community, and it’s just the beginning.

Angel Haze is here, she’s queer, and you can bet she’s not being quiet about it (and we’re glad).

For more information about Angel Haze, you can visit her website here.

Kyle Austin Dunn: Artist, Craftsman

The Whirling Girlish discusses technology and the struggle between artistic influence vs. artistic inspiration, and a talks with contemporary artist, Kyle Austin Dunn 

By Andrea Jackson

October 21, 2013

A Couple Dozen Affected Areas of Color Kyle Austin Dunn Artist Painting 2013

(A Couple Dozen Affected Areas of Color, 2013)

San Francisco Bay, CA—As a media and communications student, I’m constantly trolling the web for new stories, trending topics, and cultural happenings. My days are consumed in exploring content and seeking the “next big thing”. Much of my exploration takes me through the world of art, as I scroll through infinite pages of the internet squinting my eyes at the computer screen observing countless paintings, sculptures, installations, pictures of weird cats—you name it.

As of late, the world of contemporary art seems almost starved of pure originality. Instead it almost seems to represent a culture that fosters only certain fads, trends and styles which are accepted not only by the masses, but by the artists. So turns a revolving door of art work with uncanny similar aesthetic qualities. My Pinterest dashboard looks like a Basquiat festival gone awry, or like a small child has been wreaking havoc with a box of Crayola markers.

Where have all the craftsmen (or women) gone? Is this the death of the Avant Garde?

It would be foolish for me to sit here and pretend that I don’t fully support advancing technology, and that I think access to such tools as the internet, and social networking platforms aren’t important. They are. But as we progress, the line between artistic influence and artistic inspiration gets thinner and thinner. I have identified pros and cons with this. Positively, more audiences are able to access information on art and news faster than ever before. Resources are available to educate ourselves virtually 24 hours a day. Artists in particular, can communicate with each other, and stay current with the evolving world of their vocation. But everything has its limits.

This overload of information has created a mentality in artisans to toss out traditional methods and follow the path paved by others, a safer path. They are also paths that seems to exude extremist ideals. There is a lack of balance between pure and profane, minimalists and maximalists. We have become so accustomed to adapting ourselves to these trends, that actual revolutionary, contemporary art has in fact transgressed less and less over time.

A recent article written by NY Magazine contributor, Jerry Saltz, calls this act of conformity “Neo-Mannerism”. A notable tone of irritation radiates through his words as he paints a clear portrait of artists today. He refers to these artists as wannabe “junior post modernists”, and “generic”.* After reading his article, I sat back and thought, “Ouch, he actually said it out loud.”

But there is truth to Saltz’s comments, and I can empathize with his frustration. I wanted to find an exception to that trend. It would mean coming across an artist that didn’t fit “that” mold. It would mean an artist which has accepted technology’s place in our society, and learned to appreciate and understand stylistic fads and trends, but from a safe distance. Perhaps even an abstract artist, whose work wasn’t exclusive to small Diasporas of existentialists, but rather work which might be pleasing to anyone. I knew I would be pushing it here, but I even wanted to find an artist dedicated to perfecting their skill, and increasing the quality of their art (call me old fashioned, no don’t).

But I found one!

Kyle Austin Dunn is the future. His art is, anyways. I had the opportunity to speak with Dunn recently. He’s an East Coast transplant living in the San Francisco Bay area, and a recent Master of Fine Arts Graduate from the University of California, Davis.

Wiggle Kyle Austin Dunn Artist Sculpture 2012

(Wiggle, 2012)

There is a unique quality to his work. At first, a viewer might see his paintings, sculptures, and installations, as fun and nonsensical concoctions. But a closer analysis proves otherwise.

Meticulous precision and a skilled hand produce works which one might think could only possibly be rendered by a machine. A futuristic graphic quality emerges from the neon paint, spread thoughtfully and methodically on diverse surfaces.

Pretty Camouflage Kyle Austin Dunn Artist Sculpture 2011

(Pretty Camouflage, 2011)

“I struggle with allowing any sort of emotive response”, says Dunn in regards to the inspiration which generates his work. Perhaps this is what I find so appealing.  Each piece is a break from an influx of loose, gestural and often just plain bizarre compositions. His work is a product of vision, and skilled execution.

But perhaps there is actually more of Dunn in his work than he thinks. While he might not flick paint at a canvas amidst a spell of angst or frustration, there are pieces of his personality which translate into his work. This becomes clear after speaking with him.

A career in the arts was not always the only path for Dunn. His early collegiate career was faced with a decision between an education in art, or science which would lead to medical school. I’ll let you guess which one he picked…

Good guess!

It’s safe to say choosing art was a solid choice on his part. But I think that decision goes to say something. There is an underlying structure and science in each of Dunn’s paintings while a bold and almost humorous exterior surfaces. During my conversation with Dunn, it was evident that this is the case in his art. It is fun, and created solely for aesthetic pleasure, but is built upon a foundation of purpose and well-practiced exercise.

Balled Up Lines and Color Kyle Austin Dunn Artist Sculpture 2013

(Balled Up Lines and Color, 2013)

When I asked Dunn where he drew his inspiration from, if not blog surfing, then where? We discussed the “rapid fire” of image processing and the inevitable dwarfing of art images, hindering viewers’ overall experience. While he admits, it is important to stay current; he finds most of his inspiration simply comes from daily life. Dunn continually strives to produce work which he has never seen before, carefully straying away from anything overridden with hype. Successfully, he creates pieces which still exude contemporary ideals and aesthetic appeal while staying true to his self.

Dunn’s installation A Bunch of Heavy Lines composed of tangled PVC pipe obstructs a stairwell, challenging viewers’ ideas of utility, form, and function. Dunn’s sculptures and paintings disguise different plastics as other materials like metal and wood, inviting the observer to examine the piece more closely to make sense of its disposition.

A Bunch of Heavy Lines Kyle Austin Dunn Artist Installation 2013

(A Bunch of Heavy Lines, 2013)

When I looked at his painting Sections Form Categories I began to create relationships between the objects and figures present on the canvas. I grouped together the forms within the four quadrants of the painting, and supposed associations that I began to realize may not even exist to begin with. I had become so enthralled in deciphering the meaning of the title, that I had lost sight of the painting’s purpose—a mode of practice for Dunn to perfect his skill, and to be something nice for people to look at. It was suddenly okay to just stand and appreciate his tactful manipulation of spaces and shapes.

Sections Form Categories Kyle Austin Dunn Artist Painting 2013

(Sections Form Categories, 2013)

Even I can’t escape my extremist tendencies to build romantic and existentialist tales about things, I guess.

“I think titles are possibly the best way to incorporate text into art”, said Dunn. Yes. I agree. Today it seems that a painting or sculpture without bold Helvetica letters tattooed on it is a novel gesture.

I can feel a movement starting, constituted of people craving quality and innovation. People will want to see more art like Kyle Austin Dunn’s. There is something magnetic about art which stands shamelessly and unapologetically on its own.

Dunn currently resides in San Francisco with his wife, Rachelle, and their dog Maia. His residency is at the Headlands Center for the Arts.For more information about Dunn and his work, you can visit his website KyleAustinDunn.com or click here.

* For more information about Jerry Saltz’s article on Neo-Mannerism, click here.

All images used in this article are copyrighted to Kyle Austin Dunn, Artist Inc., and have been granted permission from the owner to publish on The Whirling Girlish website. 

Artist Lise Forell: A Woman in Full

by Andrea Jackson

October 13, 2013

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