Lisa D. Watson was born in Massillon, Ohio, and moved to Savannah in the fall of 2008. At age 10, she attended an art opening, which Watson views as a turning point in her life. “I knew I’d found my tribe,” she reflected. Although, she admitted, “Prior to that, I had found coloring outside of the lines (in coloring books) extremely rewarding.”
Her extended family boasts a number of artists and artisans — including her grandfather, whose marble work remains visible today in several businesses in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area, as well as in the famed Carnegie Museum.
Lisa earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio’s Columbus College of Art & Design and her certificate in interior design from Learning Tree University in Chatsworth, California. Her work has been exhibited both locally and nationally, through group exhibitions in New York City as well as solo shows in Montclair, New Jersey. She has shown in our area at the Jepson Center for the Arts, which has one of her pieces in its permanent collection, and in the Georgia Southern University Fine Arts Gallery. She also recently completed a month-long artist residency at Sulfur Studios in the Starland District.
Since 1992, her freelance work as an ecologically-conscious artist, designer, film production art director and scenic painter has led her to focus on sustainability in each project she undertakes. Those have included commissioned murals in Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Atlanta, scenic work for such clients as the Academy Awards, as well as pieces which turned up in several of iconic, pioneering video artist Bill Viola’s film art installations.
Currently, Watson owns and operates Plan It Green Design, consulting with clients on outdoor living spaces and native and drought-tolerant garden design. She also spearheads the community action group known as Art in Action and cares for two rescue cats, Roo and Nikkee. Locally, her work can routinely be found for sale at Roots Up Gallery. Follow her online at art-ldw.com or via Instagram at @art.ldw.
First piece of art you bought with your own money? “Oil painting by Rene Couturier, circa 1960s. Purchased for $500 in 2003 at a Mid-Century Modern Expo in Santa Monica, California.”
How old were you when you first found the confidence to try to sell your artwork? “20.”
Most recent TV series you’ve watched from start to finish? “‘Game of Thrones.’ I’ve watched it three times.”
Pancakes, waffles, crepes or French toast? “Pancakes, because I make them with no dairy or flour.”
Ever been arrested? “Does being escorted to the security office in a Kmart count?”
First celebrity crush? “Keanu Reeves. He held a door for me and said hello at my favorite burrito place in Burbank, California. Yep, that's all it took.”
Most underrated visual artist in our area? “Matt Toole.”
One superstar musical act whose records you simply can’t stand? “Kid [expletive] Rock.”
One medium you’ve always wanted to work in, but never gotten around to attempting? “Textile design.”
Three books every person should read? “Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,’ Bill Bryson’s ‘At Home,’ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s ‘The Little Prince.’”
Jigsaw puzzles or crossword puzzles? “Jigsaw.”
Smoke bombs or sparklers? “Sparklers!”
Which stimulates your creativity more: peace and quiet or music? “Both. Music while making art. Silence while painting murals because I'm usually outside and I would rather hear songbirds.”
If you could live in any area neighborhood, which would it be? “Downtown. I lived in Italy and walked everywhere. I miss those errand-motivated walks.”
Ever competed in team or solo sports? “I was in an indoor soccer league. And, yes… cheerleading. We won state championships. Just watch ‘Bring It On’ to get the gist. (Laughs)”
One local political, civic or religious leader who could improve the quality of life in our city simply by resigning? “(State Rep.) Jesse Petrea. Until he goes, the Talmadge Bridge just might not be renamed.”
"Star Trek" captains: Kirk, Picard or I don’t care at all? “I like the new Kirk.”
Most uplifting aspect of the local art scene? Most dispiriting? “Uplifting: #art912. Dispiriting: local sales.”
Best live concert you’ve ever attended? “The Pixies. Dec. 5, 1991, in Ohio at the Oberlin College gym. They’re my favorite band and it was my third time seeing them. But, the kicker... I was standing next to David Bowie who kept looking over at me and smiling. Thanks Jim, now I'm tearing up.”
First thing you’d do as mayor of Savannah? “Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.”