Lisa Foster, 

Women of Worcester County

materials funded: canvases, paint, brushes, reproduction quilting fabrics

I am focused on creating portraits of women using reproduction quilting fabrics and acrylic on canvas. My Nana was a quilter and my first artistic inspiration. I began working with these fabrics when I became pregnant with my first child, in 2004. Prior to this, I painted in oils, searching for a surface that felt my own. Now, the fabrics help me with this.  This traditional craft medium references a history and art that I want to connect with and adds depth to my feminist imagery. I began the historical women portraits after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I found the images of flowers, gifts and cards lain by mourners outside the Supreme Court, moving and beautiful. The collection of items created a kind of portrait of her, of all she had accomplished, the lives she touched, and the inspiring legacy she left behind. My paintings go beyond a physical portrait. They are memorials; installations made of gratitude and sisterhood. They are meditations on each life, an imprint of what was. They are also portraits of absence and longing. The reproduction quilting fabrics cover and decorate the forms, referencing the love, protection, and domesticity of our grandmothers. The patterns in these works originate from the Colonial period up to the 1950’s. The historic designs and colors sit well upon my Massachusetts aesthetic and carry our nation’s past into the contemporary issues of our lives.


About the artist

Lisa is represented by the Abigail Ogilvy Gallery in Boston. She has been exhibiting throughout New England and beyond since 2005. Her portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt recently became part of the Art in Embassies program, currently on view in Vienna, Austria. Lisa works from her home studio in West Brookfield, MA.



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