Cazenovia 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.