Oct 04, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Walking into Common Grounds coffeehouse during the past few weeks, patrons may have noticed the vibrant, eye-catching paintings displayed on the walls. The works depicting people and animals are strong with bold colors and offer a feeling of fluid movement in their curving, swirling lines.
“When people look at my work, whether it’s a face or … flowers or a water scene, I want them to be calmed but also feel like there’s more behind the painting than what they know,” said artist Lisa Torche Davis. “There’s a mystery to the faces I paint, a pensive quality to them. I don’t want viewers to think they know everything about it. Our shared human experience is mundane mixed with little bright spots of beauty. People need an oasis and that’s the feeling of my work.”
Davis — who signs her work “Torche,” which is her maiden name — comes from a “family of artists” and has been an artist all her life, heavily influenced by her father, she said. And although she did study art in school, she started in her family’s sign shop working on the more commercial side of the craft. She owned and operated a graphic design studio for 10 years.
She been painting — and writing and playing music — all her life, but it was only about four years ago that she realized painting was her life’s passion. It was then, during the final days of her father’s life, that he told her to find the thing that you can’t live without in your life and do it.
“It took me about a year to realize that conversation,” she said. “I never respected painting as the thing I really could not do without.” And then one day, she said, she had the “epiphany” that this was her life’s passion.
The central theme of Davis’s work is the calming effect of water, she said.
“I grew up on the [Seneca] river in Baldwinsville. One of my bedroom windows looked out onto the river and the other looked out onto a bog where this big Blue Heron lived. That river life was unbelievable beautiful and calming,” she said. “It was soul quenching, really.”
It was that calming influence of water, as well as her strong Christian faith, that helped Davis endure many trying times throughout her life, she said. That mystery, beauty and fluidity of water inspires her every day — and it is an inspiration that comes through in all her work, she said.
She started with a heavily impressionistic influence on her work, especially from the work of Claude Monet, and has been turning more towards the “expressionistic” style of painting, or a turning away from realism to having “a little more freedom” in her creations, she said.
Davis has been exhibiting her work around New York state, and last year had a one-woman exhibit at a gallery in Greenport, Long Island.
Davis’s art has been on exhibit in Common Grounds for the past month, and will remain on display through the month of October. The paintings — acrylic on canvas — are for sale as both original paintings and limited edition prints on canvas.
For more information on Davis and to view more of her work, visit her website at lisatorche.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.