Emerging Artists | Lisa Mozzini-McDill

Windows to the world

Lisa Mozzini-McDill, Glory, oil, 18 x 24.

Lisa Mozzini-McDill, Glory, oil, 18 x 24.

This story was featured in the October 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Paris rooftops at sunset, glistening rain puddles pooling in an alley’s fractured pavement, reverent onlookers gazing upon a Michelangelo sculpture—these and countless other scenes have captured the eye, and heart, of Lisa Mozzini-McDill. “You feel what a place is like and how it appears to you, and hopefully your feelings come through in the painting,” says the artist. “Landscapes have that effect on me, like when I see a scraggly tree and think about how it has survived all this time on its own. These broken-down things show how life isn’t perfect, but it’s still beautiful.”

After working as a graphic designer, illustrator, and portrait artist for a number of years, the California native now takes delight in portraying an assortment of subject matter as a full-time fine artist. Scenes that reveal the ravages of time especially intrigue her—an elderly, bowed sycamore tree, for example, or weathered beach cottages. The artist is also fond of clouds, and she has taught several workshops on how to paint them. Many of Mozzini-McDill’s own cloudscapes are painted down the street from her home in Chino Hills, CA, just east of Los Angeles, where she has clear views of the San Gabriel Mountains and the fleecy forms that routinely float over the peaks. Whether working en plein air or in her studio, and whether portraying clouds, people, land, or ocean waves, one key principle always applies, she says: “By capturing the way light falls on things, you can make a two-dimensional surface look like a three-dimensional window to the world.”

At her easel, Mozzini-McDill explores various mark-making techniques and multidirectional brush strokes with the relaxed approach of a seasoned artist. She laughs when she recalls a slide presentation in high school that had her sitting at the edge of her seat. “It was about what makes art good. I remember concentrating so hard, thinking, “OK, what makes it good, what makes it good?” she chuckles. Today the artist pursues a more personal inquiry. “I really want my paintings to have layers of interest, to have meaning and depth,” she says. “What is art? It’s about us trying to figure out our purpose for why we are here, the experience of being here now, and the people who have been here before. That’s interesting to me.” —Kim Agricola

representation
Hillside Fine Art, Claremont, CA; Parkhurst Galleries Inc., San Pedro, CA; The Lake House, Cedar Glen, CA; Saga Fine Art, Monrovia, CA.

This story was featured in the October 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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