Lizabeth Madal relishing life as a painter
Although she thoroughly enjoyed her past careers as a psychologist and an interior designer, Lizabeth Madal is reveling in her new life as a full-time artist of oil paintings.
“My art reflects a lifetime of coastal living,” said Ms. Madal, who was born in Camden, N.J, and spent her childhood living on the East Coast. She and her husband Mark Madal moved to Santa Barbara in 2002.
“I painted while I was a child and have been interested in art my entire life,” she told the News-Press. “Art is a vital transformational element in our living spaces. Paintings add color and dimension to our lives. They evoke emotional responses. They soothe, excite and entertain.”
Inspiration for her work “comes from within,” which she admits is hard to explain.
“I remember driving past the fields on my way to work as a school psychologist in Oxnard in the early morning and seeing the strawberry fields and the silhouettes of the eucalyptus trees in the background or during a visit to Hawaii and seeing a waterfall. I wanted to capture the energy, power, grace and beauty,” she said.
Santa Barbara, which she considers a “magical place,” also inspires her, which is readily evident in her solo exhibit, “Santa Barbara: A Closer Look,” at the Bella Rosa Galleries.
“The paintings explore the diversity of Santa Barbara’s splendor. From its beaches to backcountry, they provide a unique perspective on Santa Barbara’s wide variety of natural beauty,” said Ms. Madal, whose work has been in numerous exhibitions including the Santa Barbara Design Center, Palm Loft Gallery, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, Faulkner Gallery, Architectural foundation of Santa Barbara Gallery, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Santa Barbara Festival of Art, to name just a few.
“At the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, I had two solo exhibitions — ‘Sanctuary: Paintings of the Channel Islands’ and ‘Harbor Town,’ ”said
Ms. Madal, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Cal State Northridge. She also attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where she began painting landscapes and seascapes — two of her favorite subjects.
While living in Northern California, Ms. Madal started her own interior design business in Sonoma County and Tiburon.
“I have always had an affinity for fine furniture and antiques. I really loved working with people who needed help furnishing their homes, and I also helped people liquidate estates after a death in the family. My background in psychology made it as natural as breathing for me,” she said.
“I feel that if there is one good thing that has come out of the pandemic, it’s that people are turning inward and realizing that their surroundings are essential to their well being.”