Lisa Lee Freeman

My artwork is about navigating chaos and its aftermath, and searching for a path to transcend it. It draws on personal and political themes, influenced by the twin traumas of a layoff and the Trump presidency, which shattered my sense of self and America. My art reflects the fact that sometimes I feel like a stranger in my country and my own life.


Chaos can be as beautiful as it is devastating. My art investigates its transformative power, and the energies and effects of resulting disruptive change. Amid disorder, new forms and paths take shape. My artwork often features undulating shapes and lots of spontaneous marks overlaid by ink through-lines. Quantum mechanics, weather models, geodynamics, ocean and wind currents, even pet-store goldfish tanks, and other chaotic systems inspire my mark-making.


I enjoy working with a variety of materials, but as a former print journalist I naturally gravitate toward paper and ink. In addition to a variety of inks (including alcohol, acrylic, India, and traditional Chinese varieties), I use acrylic paints, charcoals, pencils, and watercolors. It’s exciting to see how materials behave on different kinds of paper and interact with each other. I typically start with a foundation of charcoal and pencil scribbles, then add layers of ink, acrylic paint, and/or watercolors.


By channeling the rhythms of political, social, environmental, and personal upheaval and tracing paths through layers of chaotic states in my art, the world starts to make more sense and feels more hopeful.