#LivesOfArtists…with Lisa Sanditz

What time do you wake up?
8:30ish. But, my favorite time is 12:34. I get a tingly feeling every time I see it.

What do you eat for breakfast?
Coffee with whole cow’s milk. Soy or nut milks in coffee makes me sad. Followed by a range of things. But a soft boiled egg and some butter on a baguette, solid.

Describe where you produce your work, and why you chose that space.
Mostly in the studio behind my house. I think, especially with a kid, if I can even get 10 minutes to gesso a canvas or after working late nights in the studio I can tumble into bed, it works. It also has nice light. It’s too small, but, it’s cozy and feels right.

Do you have a particular daily routine that helps you work?
Well, I tend to work more in month long chunks of time and then months off. I’m off studio now, focusing on teaching and the election. I loved pushing through the summer months to get this show [Mud Season at Huxley-Parlour] together. The routine that helps is called childcare. During Covid that’s been me, my husband, a pile of rocks, a garden hose, Minecraft, my son’s bestie and his parents.

Where do you go for your creative sparks? 
I feel pretty sparky most of the time, but sometimes painting small paintings en plein air and working on color studies helps me get into bigger works.

What are you currently working on?
The election.

What do you do when you need to reset your mind?
I guess I don’t really, probably a good idea.

Who was your most important mentor or inspiration?
My grandma! She was super sassy and taught me a lot about contemporary art, flair and generosity. My sister is also tenacious.

Who do you speak to when you need a second opinion or who gives the best feedback?
My husband and crushingly good photographer, Tim Davis. If you know him, he doesn’t hold back and is sharp as hell. You can imagine, that can be a bit prickly at times…

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I don’t know, I think it’s the entire pile of advice.

If you weren’t an artist what would you do?
I can’t imagine, I see and feel and think about colour all of the time. I am grateful to teach and share that.

How do you switch off from work in the evening?
Well, recently, especially since Covid, I’ve worked a lot in the evening when the boy is asleep. I have a weekly clay group with some friends who I am super grateful for. I work on side projects, for example, I’m currently collaborating with the ingenuous Emily Sartor on an artist-naturalist guide for the travelling exhibition Cross Pollination. I’m also designing and painting political postcards and signs.

What book are you reading right now?
Topeka School by Ben Lerner and I’m listening to How to be an Antiracist, by Ibram X Kendi. I’ve been pushing so much through the day, I’m so tired it’s hard to read too much, shhh.

Who is the other artist working today that you most admire?
Only 1?! Kerry James Marshall and Nicole Eisenman, oops I said two.

If you could have lunch with any artist from across time, who would it be and why?
Okay, first, with one of the people who painted cave paintings, we can say at Lascaux, and ask them what and why were they painting? Also, what do cavepeople have for lunch? Then, Pieter Bruegel and ask him how he was able to diplomatically navigate the reformation and embed his paintings with so much empathy and class consciousness. Then, debrief my findings at a picnic with Beatrice Wood and Niki de Saint Phalle in The Tarot Garden. That would be wildly fun.

What are you most proud of in your career?  
I don’t know. That I’m painting and teaching painting and you’re here with me. Thank you.

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