Monday, February 1, 2021

 Welcome to my monthly artist blog!  In January, I made 4 paintings, and the image you see here is from one of them, while it was still in progress. This is a 12x12 inch painting, and I've called it "Peony Plumeria Orchid".  This painting includes bougainvillea, an orchid, plumerias, peony and a little sunrise shell.

The sunrise shell can be found in the Hawaiian islands, and I've yet to find one over the many visits to Hawaii that I've made.  Once I saw one on the sand on a beach walk, but as I was heading towards it, another person got to it first.  That's okay, it was meant to be hers.  I'll keep trying.

I enjoyed making this painting, and drawing and painting the plumerias, which haven't appeared very often at all in my work.  I have a small plumeria plant in a large pot, and I get lots of blooms every year, from around July through late September and early October.  They have a lovely green scent; close your eyes when you take it in, it smells just like Hawaii to me.

Where I live, we experience frost, so the plumeria plant drops all of it's leaves and waits for warmer weather.  It's another favorite thing that I have to wait for, along with my apricots and figs. I think that having to wait for something enhances my enjoyment of it.  It teaches me patience and appreciation, because I don't just receive these things as wanted. 

This relates to my work and method of working; I consider what I want to paint, think about it and visualize it. I make little preliminary drawings, imagine the painting filling the blank board and what the colors might look like together. Then I design it and patiently draw it, usually over a couple of days. The painting and inking and finishing of a painting will take me 1-3 weeks.

I'm proud to announce that one of my paintings titled "Scrub Jay Nest Moon" was accepted into the online Open competition and exhibit for the Thousand Oaks Art Association. It will be available to see and/or purchase on this Look for the "published Shows" button on the top to see the Thousand Oaks Art Association 2021 Open Juried Show. "Scrub Jay Nest Moon" features a scrub jay, acorns, ferns, a scrub jay nest and eggs and a little crescent moon. It's 12x12, watercolor+ink.

The small drawing(above) is one of 3 I made to be included in a project called Impending Storms. Many artists are participating.  We were tasked to make gray-scale(blacks,grays, and or white) artworks on 6x6 inch paper of endangered or extinct animals or plants.  These will be part of an installation in Spring/Summer of 2021.

I enjoyed using only a graphite pencil on watercolor paper, and learning about the species I chose. This is a Bog Turtle. It's a critically  endangered turtle found in the Eastern United States.

 They are little, measuring just a few inches, and require densely vegetated areas and a bog to suit their semi-aquatic habitat needs. They are threatened by continuing loss of habitat, animal predators and human collection for illegal wildlife sales.

Enjoy your February, I'll be in the studio!

Lisa Skyheart Marshall 

Friday, January 8, 2021

 A new year, with new challenges. In spite of everything, I am hopeful. I am determined to continue to make work that reflects the beauty of the natural world. 

Today I am at the end of a new painting and looking for inspiration for the next, which I have tasked myself to get a start on today. I find that if I flow from one painting to the next, it keeps the inspiration and ideas going. I work on one painting at a time; never more than that. My concentration is fixed on that one piece until it is completed. Creating a painting is a meditative process for me.

Yesterday I cleaned up my studio a bit, which is also something I sometimes do right after I finish a piece. It refreshes my work space. In my studio I have a bright, warm yellow floor, it's quite cheery.  The painting I've just finished, "Yellow", uses the same sunny yellow among the subject matter of sunflower, ginkgo leaves and roses.

This year, which is already beginning in a tumultuous way, requires us all to focus on the constancy of the natural world around us. We must find calm and peace in our daily lives, even while others may be cultivating uproar and division.

In my work you will find artwork that brings the outdoors in to your living space. With my sunny color shades and the implied movement of the plants and flowers, birds and insects, as well as how each element reaches out to it's neighbor, you may see a piece that will fit within your home.  A bit of nature to gaze upon in your day to day life.  A bit of my own imagination that you may relate to in some way.

Many of my collectors find that they attach a sentiment to a particular flower or bird. Do you yourself have these attachments? For me, it's the bird of paradise that reminds me of my father, roses of my English grandmother, anise and figs that remind me of my Italian grandfather, daisies which remind me of my mother.  

Today I will be starting a new original artwork. I hope you will find something meaningful to create or enjoy today.

Take good care of yourself,

Lisa Skyheart Marshall

painting shown above: "On the Beach", and 8x10 original copyrighted painting. Prints are available of this piece. Please do not copy or forward or print an image of one of my original paintings without my permission. 

Thank you for your understanding.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Happy Holidays

 As we all are very aware, this year has been a doozy. A worldwide pandemic, contentious politics and unrest, and a time of separation from family and friends. Then, a glimmer of hope for a new way.

Now we are at the holidays, and the end of 2020. A time to consider what the future may hold. A time to remain cautious, masked and mindful of our own health and that of others.

New patterns and ways of doing ordinary daily tasks; work, school and family time, have emerged and many may prove to be with us for a long while.

I hope we have all learned something and can move forward in a more informed way. I hope we have learned how fragile we humans are. The value of kindness and community. I hope we appreciate our lives more.

For me, with more dedicated and uninterrupted time,  I experienced what I see as a marked improvement in my work.  I felt more motivated and at the same time, an essential need to spend a lot of time making carefully designed and executed work. I became more inspired, with lists of ideas for paintings yet to come.

I feel thankful that this is my work: making paintings that celebrate the beauty and hopefulness  of nature. The constant changes and ultimate renewal found in the natural world around us every day.

I wish you and your loved ones as a happy a holiday season as is possible in whatever circumstances you have found yourself. I hope you can be patient and kind with yourself.

I hope the new year will move us forward to a better future.

I will be outside finding new inspiration and here in my studio creating my paintings.


Lisa Skyheart Marshall

on Instagram: @skyheartart

Sunday, November 15, 2020

November Blog from the Studio of Lisa Skyheart Marshall

 It's November in Ojai, and I've just returned from a walk with my dog Enzo. It's warm out today, part of the warm-cold-warm weather we are experiencing here in Ojai.

I've been very busy in the art studio, painting, promoting and preparing prints for sale. My fine art prints are presented with a backing board and inside a clear sleeve.  All materials are archival. They are signed and numbered.

I have several beautiful fine art(giclee)prints, and you can find those in my Etsy shop as well as in the Focus on the Masters Shop.  I'm also offering a very small number of the handmade felt owls that I made a year ago.  Since I've been laser-focused on my fine art paintings, I did not make owls last summer, so if you'd like to get an owl or two, now is your chance!

If you want to treat yourself, or if you are starting your gift shopping, please have a look at my offerings.  I'll provide links at the end of this blog.

Right now, I'm working on a new 8x10 painting inspired by my short trip to the seashore a couple of weeks ago.  I was able to keep to myself and stay safe, while freeing my mind of concerns while walking along the beach.  This work-in-progress painting shows some of the interesting and wonderful things I discovered in my walks. You can check out progress pics from drawing to the present in my Instagram: @skyheartart

Included in November's blog is a photo of the completed painting titled "Scrub Jay Nest and Moon", a 12x12 painting inspired by a scrub jay nest that was in our front garden's hedge. It's so clever, I think, how a bird can construct these nests. I'm hoping we have nesting jays next year. If you'll go back to October's blog you'll see some photos from the very beginnings of this painting.  It's also available in limited edition prints.

You can also see an assortment of oak acorns in this painting from around our back garden; we have several tall oak trees shading our blue house.

I've made an area under the oaks where we can safely distance-gather with family, with benches and chairs and I put some jasmine bushes in big pots in that area, dreaming of when they blossom and give off a lovely scent to us and our visitors.

It's a good place to daydream, and artists need their daydreaming time.

Please visit: for original paintings, fine art prints and card sets as well as my limited edition felt owls, to see larger work and for news about me, and for fine art prints, original paintings and card sets.  The FOTM shop is LIVE from November 20-29 only. Part of the proceeds from the FOTM shop benefit their wonderful community programs and their mission of documenting interviews with artists of all kinds.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

October in my loft studio

Hello and welcome to my October blog.  Hope you are staying well.

It takes determination and a bit of hopefulness to keep working on a series of paintings, with no real idea of when those paintings can be shown in an exhibit. Exhibits have been postponed but I continue to feel very inspired by my current series of paintings, "Of the Garden".  For me, drawing and painting is my work, my passion and luckily I'm able to do that work in my loft studio.

In these photos you can see the brand new artwork that I'm beginning.  This started when I saw a scrub jay nest out in our hedge.  It's amazing that birds are able to weave these nests that look like baskets, with soft materials on the inside where the babies will hatch and grow.

I can see that they used branches from the oak trees and borrowed some horse hair for the inside part.

Of course it's not nesting season at the moment, but every time I walk by that hedge I can hear the jays rustling around in the hedge and talking to each other.

Inspired by the nest, I started to build my idea for this artwork.  I used ferns from my pink gravel garden as well as the milkweed plant. I will continue to add elements until I am satisfied with my design.

In the picture with my drawing, you can see my brainstorming sketches on the pad of paper propped up in the back, on my somewhat cluttery work surface. Only somewhat, because I have my table organized in order to easily be able to grab whatever brush, pencil or pen I need.

Thanks for stopping in to read my blog!

See you here next month.

In the meantime, check out my website:

Or my Instagram: @skyheartart

And have a look inside my etsy shop:


Lisa Skyheart Marshall

Monday, September 7, 2020

Welcome to my blog for September

 New: I've started framing my watercolor+ink paintings with a natural maple frame, which serves to protect the surface and edges and makes a nice presentation. All the frames I use will look the same, so when a collector purchases multiple paintings they will look great together!

Prior to now I had liked the unframed look for my work but realized that the corners of the surface I have chosen to work on are somewhat delicate when unprotected.

Finding a frame that enhances my work and that I can apply myself made all the difference. So I am gradually changing over to framed work, on most paintings.

Each of my paintings has been finished on the sides with a complementary color, and for an extra archival finishing touch. Each finished artwork is wired and ready to hang.

My work process is this:

An inspiration arrives, and I usually do  tiny, general drawings to think about how I want to compose the piece.  Inspiration comes from observation and spending time outside. 

I consider the colors and how they will relate to each other. After this, I choose a size board that is appropriate for what I have planned.  

Then I begin a light pencil drawing directly onto my board surface.  This usually takes one to two studio days. I am patient in this phase, because once I have this ready, I can flow in the painting stage.

 I begin to add watercolor, when I am satisfied with my drawing and composition. Adding layers until I like what I see. Then ink details are drawn on to my watercolor painting in a careful but organic manner. 

The background is painted in with either watercolor or acrylic paint and then I finish the sides.

How do I know when the piece is complete? When there is nothing more to add or take away, and I say to myself "I love that"!

Painting shown here is "Blue Garden Chair" and is 8x8 inches square. 

Available soon!

Enjoy your September and take care.

Lisa Skyheart Marshall

Saturday, August 1, 2020

August in my Loft Studio

Sunny and Hot, it's August.
I've been busy in the studio:
I recently took down the remainder of a show I had in Santa Barbara at Gallery 113.
It was a successful show for me, with several collectors going home with my paintings.

So I've been able to build a good body of work in the "Of the Garden" series, and the piece shown here, "Red Pear", is part of that series. My work takes time to make, and I enjoy this unhurried way of working and celebrating the natural world. This painting includes pincushion flower, acorn and seashell, as well as leaves from my rubber tree plants.  In my work, I often put in elements of imperfection such as the brown spot on the red pear, cracks in wood, etc.  I like adding that as a counterpoint to the controlled design of the painting, and I like that concept of wabi sabi; beauty in imperfection.

In Ojai the heat has arrived so there are less blooming flowers but I'm still finding plenty of inspiration.
At the moment I am doing a small painting of strawberries and strawberry leaves and flowers, as I have them in my little raised bed garden. That new work in progress is 8x8 inches square.
I love all the different shapes the fruit takes on, and some of them in their pale green state with red seeds are gorgeous. The red ones are beautiful, and so sweet and delicious. This painting will also have a tiny green grasshopper that I happened upon out in the garden one day.

I've been putting lots of items in my etsy shop. I have original paintings and cards sets available.
Check out my shop at: 

I have also updated my website, and paintings are available for purchase directly via paypal.

As travel plans have disappeared, my work continues to be an uplifting escape for me. I feel that creating positive images in my paintings make little cheery worlds for the viewer to look into for a few moments.  I know that the art that I have collected from different artists are a source of joy for me every day.

Other summer activities for me are studying Italian, evening walks around the block with my terrier Enzo and reading books from my favorite bookstore; Chaucer's Books in Santa Barbara.

Take care, and stop in next month to see what I've been doing!