Courageous Self-Expression of Reflectionist Lea Fisher
By John D. Adams
Lea Fisher was always an artist. She just didn’t realize it. “As a child I loved doing anything artistic, but I never considered it as a profession or even something I would do later,” she said. Looking at Fisher’s work, a freewheeling heyday of color, texture and composition, it is hard to believe that she has only been painting for 10 years.
Fisher had attended college and graduate school to become a counselor. Painting wasn’t even a hobby. “I honestly had never really thought about it [art] again until JD and I met,” she recalled. “He had a studio space and we would paint while we were on dates. And that’s the only time I’d picked up a brush or painting knife… It was during the second painting I was doing that both of us realized that there was really something going on here. It was an exciting moment.”
Over his 20+ years as a painter, gallery owner, teacher, and founder of the Reflectionist movement, JD Miller understands that talent and expression don’t always intersect. “I can teach anyone to paint,” he said. “But nobody can teach ‘The Gift.’ Lea absolutely has the gift for painting. From the first night we started I could see it. The things she’s doing now are blowing my mind, they are so good.”
Like Miller, Fisher uses massive amounts of oil paint to project her visions out of the confines of two-dimensional space. “It’s exciting because you feel unbounded. It is like sculpting on canvas.”
Reflections on a Journey
In just a decade, Fisher has managed to develop an impressive array of work. Now that she has found her voice, she can’t stop singing. “I felt like I had returned to something that had always been there, but that I’d never paid attention to. As a Reflectionist painter, my major motivation is the energy that I draw from the universe and everything around me. I allow the creative process to flow through me.”
It is fascinating to observe how Fisher’s hand and mind have developed. As we look at “Desert Dream,” done in her earliest style, Fisher remarked, “Lots of people say it looks like it’s breaking out of or in to something. And that’s exactly what I was doing. I was breaking out of my own mold. I had gone to grad school for 7 years to become a therapist and suddenly I was an artist. I was breaking away from the goals and expectations I had been carrying for myself.”
There is a rat-a-tat thrill of color and movement to Fisher’s next period, which includes “Desiree” and “Reflection of a Moment.” “I’d gone away from everything that felt deliberate. It is a lot looser and I was no longer reticent to use a lot more color. I was becoming much more assured of myself when doing those pieces.”
Latest creations like “Flaming Snowball,” showcase Fisher at her most liberated to date. “I’ve finally given myself full permission to do whatever I want, however I want,” she said. “I’m using a variety of mediums including diamond dust, oils, even pen and ink. And for the green texture I use a special little tool.”
As we consider Fisher’s remarkable development, she and Miller become reflective. “Lea’s gift is something I have rarely seen. It is akin to perfect pitch in music. Hers is perfect pitch in painting,” said Miller.
Adds Fisher: “This has been an evolution of courage for me, of coming into my own as an artist. It’s a dream I never knew I had come true. I think my journey shows that if you really lean into life and trust in yourself and your process, you will be taken where you need to be … This is a gift that I’ve been given. I just want to do the very best I can, enjoy it, and share it with other people.”
Lea Fisher is represented by the Samuel Lynne Galleries. www.samuellynne.com. Visit her website at: www.leafisherart.com