About Lisa Blackshear

Lisa painting at the Art in Bloom Festival in Black Mountain
Lisa painting at the Art in Bloom Festival in Black Mountain

Lisa Blackshear grew up one of six children near White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Her parents, both teachers, were proud of her talent, but encouraged her to be practical in her choice of career. “I majored in biology in college,” she says, “but my heart wasn’t in it. It was only after I submitted some drawings to the college newspaper and was accepted as an illustrator that I thought art could be a viable career.”

After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Studio Arts, Blackshear began doing graphic design work and also painted and exhibited her watercolors. After she began to getting regular illustration work, she quit her day job and moved to New York City. There, she began exhibiting watercolor paintings of New York street scenes in East Village galleries, and her illustrations appeared in many publications including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and the Village Voice.

She met her husband Chuck Spang while skating in Wollman Rink in Central Park. “We decided to move to Asheville when our son Daniel was born. We’d heard so much about Asheville; it seemed to combine all the artistic excitement of the East Village with less traffic and more natural beauty.” Once in Asheville, Blackshear was able to pursue her lifelong dream of painting in oils.

To help advance her painting practice, in 2013 Blackshear formed the Asheville Urban Landscape Project, which brings professional and emerging artists together to paint en plein air. “We learn from each other, provide support and community and even contribute to civic life.” The project is beginning its fifth year of paint-outs.

Blackshear counts among her influences the Cape Cod School, the Impressionists and local artists Richard Oversmith and Cheryl Keefer. Her exhibition, “Plein Mountain Air, Magic and Mystery–Paintings of Asheville and the Blue Ridge,” is currently on display at the Asheville Area Arts Council. She has a permanent exhibition at Asheville’s Woolworth Walk.

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