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Number of painters: 177
Last update: Saturday Sept 17, 2022

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Lisa Caballero


I grew up in San Diego. In 1978, I left home to attend college at Yale where I majored in Religious Studies and took my first drawing class.

Lisa Caballero

After graduating, I worked for twelve years as a computer programmer writing software for DNA and protein sequence analysis. My evenings were spent painting. My husband and I moved to New York City in 1992.

In New York, I found the traditional art education that I had sought for years. I learned of the Boston painter R. H. Ives Gammell, who had died a decade earlier, and I found teachers who had studied with him. Gammell is a significant figure in American Realism, mainly because of his legacy as a teacher. He taught a generation of artists in his atelier and his influence can be seen in today's ateliers and academies, such as The Florence Academy and the Atelier Studio Program in Minnesota. As do the students in these programs, I studied cast and figure drawing, figure painting, and plein air landscape.

Although my paintings are rooted in the academic tradition, they have a contemporary sensibility. I try hard to find subjects which have relevance and integrity, to follow in the spirit of masters like Velazquez and Chardin by being as honest to my time as they were to theirs.

As I mature, my dedication to Realism grows. To me, Realism is about observing, or attending to a subject. It moves people because it bears witness to the ordinary. It is comforting to realize that somebody else notices, brushstroke by brushstroke, what you notice, and finds it significant. A painting, like a good book, can be a kindred spirit. It can also open your eyes to something you never appreciated before.

My family moved from New York to Portland in 2001. I love painting in Portland. Its drizzly, grey skies create a perfect, soft light.