Lisa Budd’s Water Works at Solace Studio and Gallery

By PAT JOHNSON | Aug 12, 2019
Artwork by: Lisa Budd ‘Beneath the Surface’ watercolor by Lisa Budd.

When local artist Lisa Budd found out she had made the American Watercolor Society’s Signature Artist status, she screamed with joy, but no one was home to hear her. “I thought about going out and telling the neighbors but then realized they probably wouldn’t understand the significance,” she said.

It was her third try to become a AWS signature member, which to watercolorists is the pinnacle of success. To have the right to add AWS after her signature on her watercolors, she had to be juried or accepted into three AWS exhibits. The first year her work was accepted was in 2009; then in 2016 she did a demonstration painting at the show held every year in the Salmagundi Club in New York City, and that counted. And finally, this past January her painting “We're Missing Bob” was accepted, and she was inducted into the rarefied group of AWS members.

The painting was a special one for Budd in many ways. She explained, “The show entry date is in November every year, so every year I would start painting in October. Then I realized that wasn’t enough time. So this past year, I started in August.”

Budd’s watercolors of fish on Yupo paper were the paintings she is best known for. Yupo is a relatively new kind of synthetic paper that is slick and allows for special effects. But this time she went back to traditional watercolor paper. The subject she chose was very personal; in 2014 her brother’s best friend, a firefighter in Union Beach, died in the line of duty and Budd was at the funeral, which included a parade of firetrucks and bagpipers.

“He was my brother’s best friend, and for a while he lived with us, so he was our adopted brother Bob.

“On the day of the funeral, we were in a park waiting for the procession to begin, and something about the bagpipes and the drums on the ground – I took a bunch of photos on my iPhone.

“For the painting I took out the photos and re-arranged the figures to my liking and did a black and white study, and then the painting. It’s an oddball composition, so I thought maybe it would catch the judges’ eye in the five seconds it gets. You know they look at hundreds of entries.”

The AWS holds its exhibit every year for three weeks in April at the Salmagundi Art Club, the oldest art club in the nation housed in the only privately owned brownstone on Fifth Avenue. Budd is also an artist/member of the club and will have two of her oil paintings in the upcoming Greenwich Village Show.

She has been painting for about 25 years and has been a full-time artist since 2000.

“We had to get the kids through college,” she said. Her husband and she live in Eagleswood Township.

“It took me a while to focus only on my art; I probably do 15 to 20 art shows a year. It’s insane – I couldn’t do it without Post-its and Excel spread sheets to keep everything straight.”

These shows include the famous Rittenhouse Square outdoor show in Philadelphia and the Gracey Square show in New York.

The art show circuit can be grueling and chancy. “It’s a roll of the dice, but it only takes one or two customers to make it worthwhile.”

Budd will be showing her “Water Works” at the Solace Studio and Art Gallery for one week starting Aug. 14, with a reception on Friday, Aug. 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Solace is located at 2312 Long Beach Blvd. in Surf City.

Budd is also represented by the Refined Gallery in Bay Head. She is also a member of the Pine Shores Art Association in Manahawkin, where she learned her craft by taking workshops with Pat Dewes, Nancy Barch, Jim McFarlane, Beverly Golembeski and Tom Rutledge. She also teaches on occasion.



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