Lisa Danielle Biography
From her studio in picturesque Sedona, Arizona, Lisa Danielle has been crafting luminous still- life paintings for 35 years, bringing to light centuries of cultures of the Western frontier she loves.
Surrounded by historic ranches, Indian lands, and world-class museums, Lisa favors object that are otherwise inaccessible to most, visually preserving moments in time. Cliff dwelling ruins are with within hiking or horseback riding distance, and inspiration is virtually everywhere in her beloved red rock country.
Lisa’s ramblings, however, have led to more distant historic venues, from Montana’s Virginia City, Fort Benton, Crow Agency and many battlefields, to the back country of Death Valley, looking for traces of long past events. The inspiration given her has allowed Lisa to continue sharing her vision through Leanin’ Tree Publishing, major western art magazines, and the seven galleries representing her work throughout the West. Lisa Danielle paintings garner museum recognition and awards, including “Best Painting” at this show in 2014, but her greatest delight is individuals making a personal connection to a piece, taking home that glowing bit of history, and adding it to their own timeline, thus preserving the continuous tradition of storytelling, from rock art and cave paintings, to the West of the present.
“When you think about our lives, most of the things we experience are in some way tied to the past, and I want my art to make that connection. I guess that is why I love representational art as opposed to abstract. For me, it’s rather like comparing non-fiction to fiction writing. There are so many incredible true stories out there that I prefer to paint them rather than create a make-believe world.Once fiction is over, it’s gone, but the real stories endure the test of time, and we refer back to them again and again.”
Over the years Danielle has also built up a diverse collection of historic memorabilia. She tells a story about her great-grandmother, who taught school on the San Carlos Apache reservation in southern Arizona.
“As a token of their affection, the Indians gave her a number of wonderful things, including baskets and pottery. When she died, she left them to my grandmother who just stored them in her attic. One day Grandma saw some of the western paintings I was doing, so she whispered to me that she might have a few things that I would find of interest. When I saw what she had, it took my breath away, for it was almost as if those things had been waiting just for me. That bit of history gives me a special connection to the objects I use in my work.”
Recently, Danielle has begun to combine items from other cultures, including Oriental. “I began to see that life’s an even bigger picture than I though,” she explains. “No matter what our heritage, the love of beauty is found all over the world.”And Danielle’s art does reach across national boundaries through Leanin’ Tree Cards, which has published many of her images – she hears from people as far away Japan and Germany. The universality of her work can be measured by the appeal of one particular image – a pair of red boots with a yellow star on top sitting in the window of an old stone barn.“It was one of the first images that Leanin’ Tree published for me.
In addition to being printed on several sizes of cards, it also appeared on tee shirts, refrigerator magnets, and even key chains.At last report, those boots had been reproduced more than a million times.I guess for many people this image was the essence of the west, and everybody who ever wanted to be a cowboy or cowgirl must have imagined themselves standing in those boots.”She reflects, “Touching lives is the real legacy I want to leave with my art.”