Putting her faith in Dockyard pays off for Lisa
For some, Dockyard may seem like a remote location for retail, but for artist Lisa Rego its provided a major career boost.
She takes inspiration from the people, the old buildings and even the morning ferries from her gallery in the Clocktower Mall,
Every morning when I see the Powerful and Faithful ferries come in to Dockyard, I am reminded that God is powerful and God is faithful, said Ms Rego. My spirituality is foundational to my work. Despite a recession God continues to be faithful. The gallery continues to grow despite the recession.
In the summer her gallery was stuffed with tourists from visiting cruise ships. Now in the winter months things are quieter, but she takes that as an opportunity to paint.
A year ago she was invited to take part in Miami Art Week. As part of the expo she held a solo exhibition of her oils. To her astonishment she was voted in as a charter member of the Art Expo Society. Then Art Business News, a magazine that is affiliated with the society, shortlisted her as one of the top 50 emerging artists in the United States in 2011. A profile about her was included in the November/December 2011 edition of the magazine.
Ms Rego was born in Bermuda but spent much of her childhood in Scotland where she attended the Glasgow School of Art and St Andrews College of Education. She returned to Bermuda in the 1990s. One of the first places she chose to paint was a building on Court Street.
I was very happy to be back in Bermuda, said Ms Rego. I was walking on Court Street; the suddenness of seeing this building in the morning sun and a loan figure walking past began a new line of inquiry for me.
She started to draw and sketch out a picture. Within minutes she received a phone call from a relative scolding her for her apparent recklessness.
My relative had a friend who drove past and saw me, said Ms Rego. She said, this is not the place to be drawing or painting. You need to move on. I was so inspired I didnt let it stop me.
In fact, she said the only time anyone has ever bothered her when she was painting was a time when she tried to paint an elderly lady in a nursing home in Scotland.
She had a mood swing while I was drawing her and said You are going to leave right now! In Bermuda people are very happy in their environments in their own way. Obviously it is not the perfect world.
Ms Rego has since become well known for her paintings of buildings, usually with children playing in front or people hanging about.
She had a gallery in the old Sonesta Beach Hotel before it closed, and she was also Masterworks artist-in-residence in 2001. Today, she has branched out more into beach scenes and boats floating idyllically in the ocean. Her style has changed also and has become a less impressionistic and more realistic.
I want to make a connection between my early works and my current works, she said. My early impressionist style was very emotive. I am going to the Amalfi Coast in Italy in March to paint. I am looking forward to making works of art that are done more rapidly and intuitively.
She counts one of her gifts as the ability to see the colours in shadows and reflections on water.
I have had a love for shadow and light for some time, she said. I suppose you could say that a reflection is a shadow, but it is on water.
Ms Rego recalled that for one of her paintings of a boat, she tracked down the owner and asked him to move it into a good position on the water. The boat owners wife sat on the boat while he stood on the dock and held it by a rope. Ms Rego made them wait for a time when she was able to try to catch the perfect moment of light.
I was looking for a golden window of light where white becomes yellow, she said. Everything glows slightly. It is a wonderful time to capture a scene. I waited and waited and the husband said Is it going to be soon?. There was that sense of awkwardness. I was silently saying a prayer to God to ask him to just move that cloud up there a little. Then, suddenly, I witnessed shadow just pouring across the building. There were no reflections at all when I began. As I watched a liquid line appeared. It was like watching Gods finger drawing a mast in the water. It was so clear to me seeing the reflection being formed that it was very inspiring. That painting took five days when it normally takes three weeks.
Visit Ms Rego on Facebook under Lisa Rego Art.
Useful website: lisaregoart.com .
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