The Detroit-based artist Lisa Rigstad is best known for her intimate small paintings that present a sensitive, fragile, pensive space. But mostly she describes tackling her life and work with fearlessness. A life-threatening diagnosis more than 13 years ago changed everything she says. “My work became more spiritual. A lot of it has to do with searching for some answers,” she said. “I’m bolder with my art – before I painted safe little landscapes that everyone liked.” Breast cancer has been both the best and worst thing that has happened in her life, Rigstad says. Today she counts herself as a lucky survivor but still she devotes herself to raising money on Crowdrise for causes and people who find themselves in less fortunate circumstances.
Her current paintings employ a special technique of gelatin, marble dust, oil paint, and wax medium applied on wood and have been shown in galleries and exhibitions around the country. On the days when she is not in the studio painting, she rides her Harley Davidson motorcycle, spends time on the lakes of Michigan boating, and taking care of her dogs. She also works full-time as a department assistant at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. In a word, this women, artist, friend, and teacher works hard at everything she does. “Illness makes you realize that your life can be cut short, so I don’t waste time.”