Lisa Sheirer is an Associate Professor and Program Manager of Computer Graphics & Photography at Frederick Community College, Frederick, Maryland. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Printmaking from West Virginia University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from University of Notre Dame.
Ms. Sheirer has been a graphic designer for 27 years and has been working as a digital printmaker since 1990. Design clients include the District of Columbia Arts Center, Washington Project for the Arts, and the Maryland Department of Transportation. She recently completed a mural installation for the Baltimore Washington Airport. Over the last 2 years she has had five solo exhibitions of her digital prints.
Concepts come to me through life experiences. Images are accumulated and arranged to illustrate each concept. The process consists of taking digital photographs and found objects from nature and my immediate environment. These are scanned or otherwise digitized, resized, manipulated, painted, colorized and collaged together using Adobe Photoshop. I like to think of Adobe Photoshop as a lathe or the different tools of a woodshop. The software enables me to "sculpt" the shapes. The work is then produced by printing the digital images with archival ink onto archival watercolor paper. Each current print is in an edition of 5 prints.
I enjoy working on a large scale for maximum visual impact. Often, because of this scale and arrangement, the works can be seen as totemic. Through the use of high order, symmetry, and repetition the importance of everyday objects is elevated and often changed from its original context. The compositions over-all are abstracted, however, some of the objects remain recognizable. Although the imagery of my work is driven by deeply personal symbols, I hope to strike for a more universal feeling in the viewer - a sense of the power of a natural spirit.
My influences are from many different disciplines. Music is a great inspiration, especially the Old-Timey music of Appalachia, where I live. I compare my layering of imagery to the layering of rhythms in music. Nature itself provides not only many of the images, but guidance toward the final image, which exists parallel to nature. The anthropology of Native Americans and indigenous peoples of Australia informs my sense of the relationship of all societies and art, especially so-called "primitive cultures". The pure form of Constantin Brancusi influences my design. Rothko's "divine translucence" has made me aware of the possibility of the creation of energy through juxtaposition. Goldsworthy's elemental beauty and simplicity has influenced my use of natural forms. Most recently the minimal seascape photographs of Hiroshi Sugimoto have caused me to reexamine my approach to time, memory and dreams.