Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Feature: Lisa O'Regan

"Playing with Fire" watercolor by Lisa O'Regan
Hi Everyone,

Get ready for a fabulous Friday Feature!  Lisa O'Regan's work is stupendously spectacular.  I just can't get enough of it and absolutely love following her works in progress on facebook.  

To see more of her work join her on facebook.

How did you get your start?  What’s your artist journey so far?

I have been drawing and painting since a very young age, for as long as I can remember really.  My mother was a painter, and my father also had talent but never practiced (other than the few caricatures that we would draw of one another for fun left to decorate the refrigerator door).  I knew before entering High School that I would continue my education in Fine Arts, and was very fortunate to have both my parent’s support and encouragement in doing so.  I received my BFA from University when I was 21, but at such a young age, I had no idea what to do with it, and eventually succumbed to a nine-to-five position, which I’ve held for the past 24 years, completely unrelated to my field of study.  I had basically secluded myself from the art world, even while in University.  I would hide behind my easel, feeling daunted that I wasn’t following the norm (in any respect whatsoever) and feared any piercing eyes looking over my shoulder, so unsure of what it was that I was doing or needing to say.  I didn’t want to follow artists at all, not wanting to mimic anyone else’s style.  I took up watercolour painting, without much direction from schooling, and proceeded to paint mostly for the pure enjoyment of painting tied in with the occasional commission piece, until I gave painting up altogether for a full fifteen years to raise my three beautiful children.  Fifteen years is a long time, and I was pretty much kicking myself the whole time for neglecting it, and my degree, but no regrets.  It was almost five years ago that I finally took out my brushes again, and have not laid them down since.  I no longer hide, or shy away when someone ogles while I work, and I rather welcome the abundance of art displayed daily in my Facebook newsfeed – I just simply can’t get enough of it!  I still have no idea what I’m doing, or needing to say, but it doesn’t matter so much to me anymore – I simply want to paint.  Whatever, wherever, whenever.  Much of my recent adventures have included the rebuilding of my portfolio, taking on commissions, as well as entering and being successfully juried into art competitions.  It’s a solo journey that I’ve embarked on, and I have absolutely no idea where it will take me, but I’m enjoying every second of it along the way!
"Standing the Test of Time" watercolor by Lisa O'Regan

Where were you born?

I was born in St. Lambert, Quebec, a town on the south shore of Montreal.

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

I am a proud Canadian, and love my heritage, and even though I complain about the cold snowy winters, I wouldn’t have it any other way – but the views are much more spectacular out West, and wouldn’t mind eventually settling in British Columbia or Alberta one fine day.
"Sepia" watercolor by Lisa O'Regan
 What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

Oh… the choices!!   I had heard that it was best to paint what you know and love, and so, without any other forethought, my kids and cats would be my favourite things to paint.  I love so many other things too, such as, nature and wildlife, that I could never say that I focus entirely on any one type of subject matter solely, and hope to see many other ideas to fruition as well.
"Harry" watercolor by Lisa O'Regan
 Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

I’m not sure I can describe my painting technique other than to say that I like to paint realistically enough, but in a painterly manner so to speak.  Even though I alter between watercolour and acrylic, I think my technique remains the same.  I tend to build up shapes and forms, by layering the acrylic on the canvas, much the same as I would glaze layers of watercolour on paper, and by the same token, I will work wet-in-wet wherever possible or necessary for either/or.

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?

Windsor & Newton Burnt Sienna for watercolour and Pebeo Indigo Blue for acrylic – both are musts for every palette, and for every painting that I work on. 
"Insignificant Boundaries" watercolor by Lisa O'Regan
 Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I’d have to say that Mary Whyte is my favourite watercolour artist.  There is just something about the figures that she paints, and the emotions that speak to me whenever I view one of her paintings.   My biggest inspiration, without a doubt, would be my mother.  It has been such a pleasure to follow in her footsteps, sharing not only her love for painting, but photography and nature as well.  Of course I have a favourite go-to list of artists that I am constantly checking up on as well, and couldn’t live without a daily dose of artwork, in some  way, shape or form, which is so very contrary to my younger days.
"First Born" acrylic by Lisa O'Regan
 What have been some of your crowning achievements?

My kids, of course… without a doubt!  Are three enough? :)
"Life Goes On" acrylic by Lisa O'Regan
 What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

Like most, I’d want to win the lottery, travel the world, quit my job and paint full-time – whether it be as employment, or enjoyment solely, doesn’t matter… but in all honesty, I don’t play the lottery, and all I really want is a new house, with a big bright room of my own, to call a studio – MY studio! :)
"Watcha Lookin At" by Lisa O'Regan
 What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

Practice makes perfect.  Just keep doing what you love to do, and eventually, your passion will turn into a profession.   At least that’s what I’m hoping for, for myself!
"Mellow Yellow" watercolor by Lisa O'Regan

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

Paint what you love, and love what you paint.

Chocolate or vanilla?


Your dream vacation spot?

I would love to go to Ireland one day, but today, anywhere hot would suffice – it’s so cold right now!

Book or movie?

Movie (no time to read these days)

Favorite author?

John Grisham

Favorite movie?

It’s a toss-up between One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and A Nightmare before Christmas… oh, and anything featuring Tom Hanks!

Romance or comedy?

Ew.  Drama!

Favorite dessert?

Not really into desert… but pecan pie, if I must!

Night owl or morning person?

Morning person, definitely.  It’s all about the light! :)

 Thank you so much Lisa.



  1. Love her watercolors, Carrie. Thank you for sharing about her...I'm going back up to see if she has a blog...

  2. I follow her blog which she never updated and was under the impression she had stopped painting. Great surprise to see she is still doing such incredible work!Thank you.

  3. That was a great interview Carrie..I just wonder how many of us have neglected or hid from our talent for years? I could completely relate to her story. It's so great that she finally decided to pick up the brushes and share her beautiful work with the world! : )

  4. Again you have found such a talented lady! These paintings are amazing favorite would be the incredible elephant!! Wonderful interview, Carrie!!!

  5. Wow, just breathtaking work both in terms of the detail and also the... feel. Blah, I'm a terrible art critic! But there's something in each one that touches a heartstring and makes me react emotionally. <3

  6. This is my first time to your Friday Features. What great fun! And what an incredibly talented artist Lisa is. Her painting have such emotion to them. Thanks for sharing Carrie!

  7. Nice article. I have known Lisa since before high school. I have always been in awe of her talent (like drawing cartoon characters). I love it when there is a new picture up on Facebook. The recognition Lisa is receiving is exciting to longtime friends too.