If DailyUV lately has left you more at ease and delightfully nostalgic, go ahead and give some credit to Lisa Curry Mair.
The blogger behind “Painting the Country Life,” Lisa graces the feed most every day with her acrylic paintings and pen doodles depicting bucolic landscapes and scenes of the farm, peacefully populated with horses, donkeys, cows, and dogs. And breathe.
An imagined place in the distant past? Nope. In fact, Lisa lives the life she paints. And trains her horses in the art of dressage. And has even figured out the best way—really, the only way—to get her donkeys to stand still for their portraits.
How long have you been living this Country Life, and when did you start painting it?
I have always lived in the country. During some parts of my life I lived WAY out in the country (very rural Nova Scotia is where I grew up), but my husband and I moved to Weathersfield, VT, in 1994. I have always had horses and I have always studied their form. I’ve been doodling them since I could hold a pencil! I became particularly intrigued with farm life, rural living and the beautiful landscape as subjects of my art when we moved to the Upper Valley.
“Grazing Cows” ©LCM2016
Tell me how your painting partnership with the Inn at Weathersfield began?
We have always enjoyed dining at the Inn at Weathersfield. It is such a quintessential Vermont inn. When we moved here, the previous owners worked there and took overflow guests in what became our home when they were running a Bed & Breakfast. The current owners of the Inn, Richard and Marilee Spanjian, came to meet me soon after they moved in and have encouraged me with my artwork since then. Last fall I suggested that I could share my Weekly Paintings with them and they loved the idea. Their visitors seem to enjoy the new painting each week as well.
Your paintings are not only tranquil and exquisite, they make me wish I could assemble them from, say, 1,000 jigsaw pieces. Is that something I can look forward to?
Haha! Thank you! It’s funny that you ask that. Just this morning I was looking at Surface Pattern Design possibilities for my work. I would like to expand to licensing my work to be used for notecards, wallpaper, fabric, and maybe even jigsaw puzzles!
I try to take photos of my dog, but he hates it and hides his face. Have your horses ever caught you sketching them, and how do they feel about it?
Horses are pretty vain. They love having their pictures taken and generally any time you’re looking at them is fine by them! I have two little donkeys now. It’s VERY hard to get a photo of them because they always walk directly AT you, when you show any interest in them. So I do paintings of their butts instead!
“Two Asses” ©LCM2017
In a recent Daily Doodle, you admit to incorrectly drawing your horse's legs—in a "pacing" formation, a no-no for dressage horses. What can you tell us about your dressage passion, and what does your art borrow from it?
That’s a very loaded question! I have been practicing and learning dressage for over 30 years and it has hummed along beside me with my art. Dressage is an art form in itself. It’s all about bringing out the best movement in any horse and creating a kind of invisible communication between horse and rider until you are seemingly effortlessly dancing. Same as art. You learn the skill then let yourself go until the paint dances before you. Knowledge steps aside and freedom of expression blossoms!
“Lady Liberty” ©LCM2017
Spring is coming—soon, I hope! But Mud Season before it. What colors are you most excited to add back to your palette?
One of the things that makes my art “recognizable” is the fact that I use a limited palette of 25 colors, so the overall feel of my paintings really doesn’t change much from season to season. That said, I can’t wait to get outside and enjoy all the new greens that will be here soon. And my horse can’t wait either!
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