A fitness instructor, whose artistic career was kickstarted by a friendly floral commission, is sharing her 'observations' in a new exhibition.
"My favourite word is observation, observation, observation,” says Lisa Troy.
It therefore comes as no surprise that it is the title of her latest exhibition.
Hosted at The Gallery at Fort Regent from 4 October until the end of the month, ‘Observations’ is a collection of views Lisa has observed whilst out walking, running or cycling around the island and further afield, in France and Crete, as well as some of her earlier work.
Pictured: Observations’ is a collection of views Lisa has observed whilst out walking, running or cycling.
“When you walk around the world you automatically assume… you have an image of things,” she explains. “[Observation] is about getting people to actually notice, take time to observe and really see. I always tell my students: draw what you see, not what you know.”
Lisa, a former Le Rocquier and Hautlieu student, has been cultivating her creative streak since an early age - “As a kid, I used to design dresses and draw a lot,” she admits – but it wasn’t until secondary school, with the help of a number of “inspiring teachers”, that she first thought she could be an artist.
A few years later, however, she turned down art college to pursue other interests.
“I was torn between two avenues,” she explained. “I enjoyed art but I also enjoyed sport and exercise so I decided to go to the Royal Air Force. Then I met my husband so I didn’t end up going to forces either.”
Pictured: Lisa went back to college to train as an Art teacher in the early 2000s.
After a brief stint in the insurance world, which she says wasn’t for her, she became a fitness teacher, a profession she still exercises to this day as an Active instructor at Fort Regent.
In the early 2000s, Lisa went back to college to train as an Art teacher. “It took me until my late 20s/30 to come back to doing what I wanted,” she says. “It shows that you can do it later. You can do it at any time. Teaching classes has kept me going and more inspired to create. It’s really lovely to see people of all ages being able to paint.”
Throughout the years, her love for art never left her and Lisa never stopped painting, mainly for family and friends. Her first commission, a large painting of gerberas, came at the end of the 1990s, in a period Lisa was influenced by the work of Georgia O’Keeffe.
It caught the eye of another friend, local gallery owner and framer, Tim Sayer, who convinced her to gather some paintings to exhibit, an experience Lisa describes as “terrifying".
Pictured: “It’s about being in the room, taking it in and capturing it,” Lisa says about her recent series of work.
This month’s exhibition – sponsored by Canaccord Genuity - will be her sixth since then. Lisa actually agreed to it three years ago and started building up a new body of work a year-and-a half ago.
“It’s been great fun,” she said. “I have been enjoying doing it. I always tell my students your best work is the work that you love to do.”
For ‘Observations’, Lisa has created a collection of paintings based on what she sees in the outside world during her outdoor adventures with family and friends.
“It’s about being in the room, taking it in and capturing it,” she explains, adding that she is very lucky to have a very supportive husband, who created frames out of the same recycled scaffolding boards he used to build her a studio in their home garden for the exhibition.
Lisa also praises the rest of her family - all of whom wait patiently as she captures sceneries on the sketchbook she always carries with her.
"It's almost like my diary," she says. “I always have photographs as a back up but it’s a 2D image of something that is in 3D. You are not there. You have to be there to observe, it takes time to observe and really see.”
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