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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Lisa Ober

Bob and Dog, Lisa Ober--a moment of warmth and love.
(Yes, it's a painting.)
Having dipped my brushes into tromp l'oeil (fool the eye) still-life painting from time to time over the years, I've developed a weakness for such work. If done well, they catch my eye virtually every time I encounter such work. Lisa Ober is one such example. She not only paints microscopically well, she has a knack for choosing her still-life objects instinctively in such a manner as they complement her style and skills. The still-life paintings that first caught (and held) my eye are the ones I've labeled "Painted Paint" (below). Each one could probably do with a hand-printed tag bearing the words: "wet paint." And yet...and yet Lisa Ober considers herself first and foremost a portrait artist as seen in her Bob and Dog (top). Obviously from a photo, I love the spontaneity of the moment she has captured ;with such natural lighting, color, and composition.

If it's true that an artist should paint that which is most familiar to them, then Lisa Ober certainly does.
In looking over Lisa's portrait portfolio, it's impressive, with moments of brilliance. But, having said that, for the most part they are no better or worse than hundreds of other professional portrait artist with whom she undoubtedly competes. I am, of course, well aware of the reasoning behind Lisa Ober's emphasis on promoting her portrait talents over her much more exciting still-lifes. Artists, not unlike those of many other professions, follow the money. And while portraiture is not the easiest of arts to master, having once done so, it becomes "easy money," especially after the first several dozen satisfied clients. Still-lifes, even those as masterful as Lisa Ober's are, to coin a phrase, hard as hell to sell.
Lisa Ober's OA Gallery, Kirkwood, Missouri

It helps that Lisa Ober owns her own art gallery, the OA Gallery (above) in Kirkwood, Missouri, (a western suburb of St. Louis just inside the I-270 outer belt). It's fortunate that Lisa also paints animals (mostly dogs), show-stopping still-lifes, and the occasional landscape or seascape. Her portraits don't hang around long after completion and thus her cleverly titled still-lifes (I cracked up when I saw the one she called Tromp l'Oil) serve to cover her gallery walls.

I Promise Transparency,
Lisa Ober
Talented, hard working, and smart, the all-important requirements for managing an art gallery and an art career.
Having a Screw Loose, Lisa Ober
A Missouri native, born and raised in St. Louis, Lisa began painting portraits in 1983 while working on her BFA in Gra-phic Design and Illustration at Washington University. She had originally intended to pursue a career in commercial illustration, but by 1987 her growing list of clients and her enthusiasm for painting peo-ple led her to "quit her day job" and pursue a full time career as a portrait artist instead. It was a smart move. Lisa has since enjoyed consistent pri-vate and corporate commis-sions including paintings of major league sports figures, noted religious figures, United States Supreme Court Just-ices, corporate executives, government officials, and private individuals. She has also il-lustrated several books. Her work resides in private and institutional collections across the U.S. and abroad.

I would venture a guess that Lisa has a sweet tooth.

A portrait artist has to love people, love painting, and most of all love painting people. Those words perfectly describe Lisa Ober. Add to that the many hats she wears as an artist, mentor, workshop teacher, gallery owner, marketer, sales person, social media court jester, graphic designer, web designer, photo editor, and computer tech. On top of that there's the attention to spouse and kids, friends and family, and much of the gallery work. It's not a job for the weak-willed or lazy.
A still-life commission by Lisa Ober. Yes, people do commission still-lifes.
Easter, Lisa Ober
Lisa Ober has been described as a painting ping-pong ball. She continually bounces between portraits and still-life painting, teaching workshops, and owning one of the best representational fine art galleries in the St. Louis area. She describes her husband of 24 years as a ridiculously understanding guy. They are parents to two college students. Though Lisa loves painting, she also loves to meet artists, inspire students of all ages, talk their heads off, and eat like a man. As a true multitasker (or perhaps, someone who can’t focus), Lisa has been known to do all of the above at one time. She typically paints between the hours of 9pm and 5am to the sounds of hard rock and heavy metal music or geeky sci-fi shows in re-runs. She laughs so often that you wonder what she knows that others don't. Nevertheless, Lisa Ober is serious about her career. She thinks God is cool and has loaded upon her many undeserved opportunities.

Oddball, Lisa Ober

We once had a sheltie who
looked very much like his.


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