About the Artist: Lisa Rivers
November 2022 Issue
About the Cover Artist — Lisa Rivers
By Kelly Hunter
This month’s cover art "Friendship" is from the series “Breezy and Gullah Mermaids” by Lisa Rivers, who gave us this insight into the painting, “The water represents freedom. The skirts blowing in the wind represents women who are both strong and graceful. The ribbon represents the fight against cancer. My mother died of cancer, and I could feel her spirit flowing through me as I painted this piece,” Lisa explained. She has fought many battles in her life but, through her strength and grace, is a successful artist and entrepreneur today. “Real friendship has a true ‘Breezy’ healing power of love,” Lisa added.
In her early life, she was a talented artist, even winning an award in third grade, but a traumatic event prompted Lisa to put down the brush for many years. She explained, “At that time, I began to search for what made me feel safe rather than what made me feel happy. It took me until I was 52 years old to discover that my safe place IS anywhere that I have freedom to express myself. Anywhere that I have a brush and a canvas, or even a marker and a crumpled piece of paper. Whenever I can create, I am powerful, and I am free.”
Lisa has roots in the South but grew up in the projects of Brooklyn, NY. She has no formal training; however, she was highly influenced by the art she saw around her as a child. “Graffiti art was on the sides of the subway trains and murals were on the brick buildings. I remember the colors. I remember the freedom I felt when I would see this art displayed in my community. I didn’t visit museums or study art historians. I saw people telling their stories. Stories that were like mine. In those images, I saw people who wanted to be seen and who wanted a better life. I saw myself.”
Now living on St. Helena Island, Lisa has become a successful entrepreneur later in life. She had this advice for other entrepreneurs: “Surround yourself with positive people who will encourage you to do your best. I didn’t believe in myself at first, but my children kept saying, ‘You are an artist. You are amazing.’ When I feel like I don’t want to paint anymore, as an artist I feel that it’s important to do it anyway, even if it’s a small doodle on a napkin— even if it’s a few abstract lines. This encourages the mind to not let go. Because in the end, you step back from that napkin, and you realize it’s a masterpiece.” We are grateful that Lisa keeps picking up the brush. She is the picture of perseverance, and we are inspired by her story, her art and the stories her works tell.
Lisa’s vibrant, colorful work can be seen and purchased at Legacy Art Gallery, 917 Bay Street Suite C, Beaufort, SC or on her website www.Legacyartgallery.com. You can also follow her on Instagram @LisaRiversArt and Facebook
Toy Drive: From November 4 (Downtown Beaufort’s First Friday Celebration) through December 17, please drop small, unwrapped gifts and toys (no bikes) at Lisa’s Legacy Art Gallery for children in need. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (First Friday, Nov.4, open until 7 p.m.)