(Above: Cocktail Party, a painting by artist Lisa Esherick. The California artist’s work is on display at the White Lotus Gallery.)

Posted by Randi Bjornstad

Although most of artist Lisa Esherick’s life and work has taken place in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, she now has a show at the White Lotus Gallery in downtown Eugene.

The exhibit, titled Lisa Esherick — Paintings, includes subjects with varying topics, from rural and urban geographical vistas to political satire to scenes that feature social interaction, gardens, and flower arrangements.

Hay Bales, a painting by artist Lisa Esherick

As she describes what interests her as topics, Esherick mentions both seeking the stillness of landscape and expressing “interaction that speaks of the human condition in our contemporary world.”

That no doubt reflects her own varying interests, which included studying at the San Francisco Art Institute in the early 1960s to completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and then earning a master of fine arts degree from San Francisco State University.

Her work has been exhibited extensively in both group and solo shows throughout California as well as two solo shows in Germany.

In addition to painting, which she has described in an artist biography as “her life,” Esherick  also relishes making “very quick sketches — charcoal, pencil, ink. Anyplace, wherever I am, I like to draw.”

Her 50-year career also has included teaching art for 30 years at the college level as well as classes for children, where she admonished her students, “Don’t color inside the lines — make your own lines! And make a mess!”

Artist Lisa Esherick

All those decades of art have convinced Esherick that “actually, painting is surprisingly active and athletic. You are lifting and moving canvases,” she wrote. “And I squat a lot to pick up things.”

As for advice to would-be artists, Esherick’s advice is to “make more mistakes.”

“I’m still learning from my own mistakes,” she wrote. “When you make a mistake and you say, ‘Oh, that’s not right,’ you obviously have some idea of what would be right. So remake it, but don’t be afraid to just do it, and do it strongly, with real strength, not tickling around the edges.”

Lisa Esherick — Paintings at White Lotus Gallery

When: Through June 15, 2024

Where: 767 Willamette St., Eugene

Opening reception: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, with artist talk at 1:30 p.m.

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Information: 541-345-3276 or online at wlotus.com


One of Lisa Esherick’s very large urban studies is Freeway — Curve toward Sixth St.