Artist Liz Brady eyes the sky for inspiration
Her current “obsession” with clouds is readily apparent in the recent paintings of local artist Liz Brady.
All have titles like “Above Butterfly,” “Above State Street,” “Above Santa Barbara,” “Above Hendrys,” “Above Summerland” and “Above Gaviota.”
Others are “”Above the Sea,” “The Wild Blue Yonder,” “Along the Coast,” “Riding the Breeze,” “Gathering on the Wind” and “Gliding on the Blue.”
Against a pale blue sky, flocks of birds soar in some of them. Others have stretches of beaches below. There’s a familiar lamp post in the corner of the State Street painting.
“I get obsessed with something, and I don’t really know why. For a while, I did underwater creatures like whales, jellyfish and octopuses. Now it’s clouds and birds, mostly clouds. I like things that float,” said Mrs. Brady, who has been living and painting in Santa Barbara for the past 30 years.
“Studies of the earth, sky and the sea are prevalent in my most recent work. The organic shapes and patterns of these forms are diverse, intriguing and beautiful to me. I am moved by their simplicity and their complexity. My airy, earthy and watery palette is inspired by these forms and is full of rich greens, blues, yellows and browns.”
The artist said she paints with oil and graphite on wood panels so she can “scratch and sand” the surfaces to achieve a many-layered finish.
Her artwork, which ranges in price from $250 for small pieces that are 8 inches square to $4,000 for larger ones that are 42 by 60 inches, are available at Upstairs at Pierre Lafond in Montecito, the Sundance Catalog and www.lizbradyart.com.
They are also sold at The Green House Studios in the Funk Zone, which Mrs. Brady shares with two other local artists, Erika Carter and Virginia McCracken.
“I paint there and at my home,” said the artist, who grew up in Palos Verdes, graduated from Palos Verdes High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in studio art at UCSB.
After graduation from UCSB in 1988, she and her future husband, Jon Brady, took a backpack trip around the world for a year.
“We started in Fiji and just kept going west,” Mrs. Brady told the News-Press. “We were on a budget but managed to see a lot of beautiful and amazing places.”
When they returned to Santa Barbara, the couple married, and Mr. Brady became a music teacher, giving lessons in piano, accordion and ukulele, while his wife painted.
“In 1993, we decided to move to Paris for a year, so I could become more immersed in art,” said Mrs. Brady.
Since 1995, Santa Barbara has been their home, where they have raised their son Owen, 25, and daughter Hazel, 21.
Since 2008, Mrs. Brady’s art has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Porch Gallery and Vault Gallery, both in Carpinteria; and in Santa Barbara at Arigato Gallery, Caruso Woods Gallery and Gallery 3 East.
Her work has also been part of numerous exhibitions at Sullivan Goss-An American Gallery, Michael Kate, The Arts Fund Gallery, Simpson House Inn, The Reynolds Gallery, Neuhauser Gallery, Long Beach Museum of Art and University Center Gallery at UCSB.
“This past year, my daughter and I decided to try making ceramics. We bought a kiln and turned the patio space in our backyard into a studio. It’s still more of a hobby, but some bowls and plates are being sold at Upstairs at Pierre Lafond,” said Mrs. Brady, who spends several hours a day in her studios.
“It’s hard to describe why I enjoy painting so much. There’s something inside that makes me feel really happy and at peace, and when I’m finished, I have something to put on the walls.”