Lisa Manes-James

My art references the natural world, based on observation, in which nature is seen as a reflection of the human condition. I am inspired by the physical and sensory qualities of natural environments and my emotional connection to these places and atmospheres. My painting process is a free expression of my feelings, resulting in non-objective abstract explorations.

With allusions to nature’s essence of color, organic shapes and varied textures, I work intuitively with brushes and tools, patiently disturbing surface layers by covering and revealing, altering and adjusting. While the paint suggests a path through the work as it develops, the process evolves
within my relationship to the marks. I keep some of these and hide others, knowing all that has preceded. This experience of painting becomes a metaphor for the internal and external forces that shape us as human beings.

By engaging viewers’ memory and imagination, I hope to promote attention and appreciation of place. My ultimate intention is to cultivate an awareness of the connection between the natural world and human emotions, experiences and existence.


Lisa Manes-James is a California abstract artist whose paintings are based on connections to the natural world. Originally from the Central San Joaquin Valley in California, Lisa holds a BA and a teaching credential in art from California State University Fresno and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in fine art (painting) from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. After residing in the Northern San Francisco Bay Area for six years, Lisa recently relocated to her hometown of Visalia where she works in her studio.

She has exhibited her work in solo exhibitions in San Francisco, Mill Valley, and Visalia, and in juried group shows in Marin and Sonoma Counties. Recently she completed a collection of work currently offered through Crate and Barrel in partnership with U-Gallery and also was commissioned by Imagery Estate and Benziger Family Wineries in Glen Ellen, California, for a wine label. Lisa has taught art in California public schools for 14 years and has instructed abstract painting workshops at Healdsburg Center for the Arts in Healdsburg, California.

Impermanence, 3/30/18
30×40 Original Size

Even In the Breeze, 11/22/17


Darkness of Each Endless Fall, 2/2/18,
30×40 Original