Notes by Bill Calhoun

May 01, 2015

The Perfect Marriage

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The Perfect Marriage, 2015, oil on canvas, 48" x 42"

I'll quote Emily here: My paintings often celebrate the drama between men and women. In my work the men appear to be angular and aloof, the women rounded and pensive. The male element approaches the robotic, and the female element harks to a romantic past. I am obsessed with the idea of robots, but my robots tend to defy the usual interpretation. They are much too human, as if their designers couldn’t help but duplicate themselves in all their glorious inconsistency and neurosis.

This is by far the largest painting Emily has made. A big canvas like this can be terrifying for a painter to approach. You're never sure if you're up to the task. Instincts fail you, you're a beginner all over again. But Emily has more big canvases lined up!

August 01, 2013

Tour de Zède

Click for Larger ViewI'm tempted to say something about man vs. machine, but they look like they're having too much fun.

Tour de Zède, 2013, oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

July 08, 2013

Cat and Mouse

Click for Larger ViewA dream becomes a circus poster; is she protesting or directing?

Cat and Mouse, 2013, oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

June 28, 2013

An Emily Painting Comes to Life

Click for Larger ViewI've always wanted to do this - document the stages of one of Emily's paintings.

This animated image starts with a tiny woodcut illustration that Emily had for years on a bulletin board.  One day she decided to sketch a drawing inspired by the woodcut, and not long after decided to try a sketch on canvas.  That was about a year and a half ago, and since then Emily has worked, off and on and in stages, until the recent completion.

Day of the Dead, 2013, oil on canvas, 18" x 24"

If you would like to know more about the painting's stages of development, or see the individual images that make up the animation, please click here.

June 27, 2013

Day of the Dead

Click for Larger ViewEmily has always loved the imagery from the Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations.  This painting is based on a tiny woodcut that Emily had pinned up for years on the wall of ephemera in her studio.

If they weren't sitting, this handsome couple would qualify as a classic Emily pas de deux.

Day of the Dead, 2013, oil on canvas, 18" x 24"

March 31, 2013

Scapegoat Review

Scapegoat Review
Three of Emily's paintings and two of her poems have just been published in the Spring issue of the Scapegoat Review.  You can view it here, or click on the image to the left.

Scapegoat Review is an online literary journal published by Erika Lutzner, who also published the anthology Some Stories Are True That Never Happened which featured the collaboration of Emily and the poet Nin Andrews.  (Read about that anthology here.)

March 23, 2013

The Circus of Lost Dreams

Emily and Nin have a book!  It is titled The Circus of Lost Dreams.  Actually, what they have is an interactive digital chapbook.  The chapbook was published by Didi Menendez, the publisher of PoetsArtists, and it features 30 poems by Nin Andrews, all paired with Emily's paintings.  It's available as a very cool interactive iBook via iTunes.

The iBook can be viewed on iPads and iPhones - it has audio and video as well as text and images.  It's available for free, from this link, or just click on the image below.

The Circus of Lost Dreams In The Circus of Lost Dreams, Nin Andrews and Emily Lisker become a magical duet.  The two share an insatiable, tender, and wry imagination.  Their poems and paintings together are profound in their insights regarding power, male/female relationships, and spirituality.
- Denise Duhamel

Just finished Nin Andrews new poetry/prose collection "The Circus of Lost Dreams".  Andrews has imagined and developed a make-believe island and a personal history that echoes the wild, bizarre, and heightened sexuality of our dreams, yet at the same time never divorces us from the weight of the real world (with all of its human failings and problems) in which we daily walk and breathe.  These fable-like tales are full of the enchantments of magic, empowerment, humour, wisdom, and lyrical language.  Utterly engaging, fantastical, and at times breathtaking, "Circus of Lost Dreams" is a delight.
- Michael Parker

March 20, 2013

More Videos with Nin Andrews

Just published!  Two more videos of Nin Andrews reading her poetry against moving backdrops of Emily's paintings.  In the first video, published through the journal MiPOesias, Just the Chillies is paired with Emily's painting Embrace.  View the video here, or click on the image below.

Just the Chillies In the second video by the same publisher for the journal PoetsArtists, The Dancers is paired with Emily's painting Trio.  View the video here, or click on the image below.

The Dancers And in case you didn't check out the first video, read all about it here.

March 10, 2013

Alphonse and Gaston

Click for Larger ViewI once went to dinner with Emily's grand-parents, rest their souls.  In the middle of a chaotic meal, Emily's grandmother called to the waiter "Alphonse, Alphonse!" which seemed unlikely to be anyone's name in this Brooklyn Italian restaurant.  Only much later did I realize that her mind, in searching for "Garçon," had stumbled across the names of a pair of cartoon characters from her youth.

Alphonse and Gaston, 2013, oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

March 06, 2013

Wheels Within Wheels

Click for Larger ViewThis painting started its life, as do all of Emily's paintings, as a drawing.  Unlike the current batch of paintings completed, or nearly so, this one has remained in its infancy.  This happens - the drawing is so wonderful on its own that Emily does not want to disturb it.  This one could stay this way for years, but I wanted to share it anyway, and give you a glimpse into how Emily paints.

Wheels Within Wheels, 2013, oil on canvas, 18" x 24"