Los Angeles-based artist Lisa Chakrabarti works in a variety of media: oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolors, graphite and colored pencils. Focusing on a style she calls “romantic naturalism” – impressionism based largely on subjects in the natural world – her works have found their way into galleries in Los Angeles, Florida, Colorado and New York. In 1995, after being introduced to sumi-e and Chinese ink painting by Asian friends, Lisa became captivated by the apparent freedom and subtlety of this ancient medium. This shift in focus has informed her work ever since.
Lisa Chakrabarti was born in Manhattan, New York and grew up on Long Island. She began drawing at age 2 and sold her first artwork – pen and ink drawings at an arts and crafts fair – at age 14. She attended the State University of New York at Fredonia where she studied art and foreign languages and worked in Germany for over a year before moving to Los Angeles, California where she landed a job as a gofer in a foreign exchange trading room. Lisa quickly advanced in her new career to become the youngest VP of Foreign Exchange at Chase Manhattan (Now JPM) at that time. However, in 1988 Chase decided to close the trading desk in Los Angeles, and although Lisa was offered a job at any international Chase branch of her choosing, she and her husband, Gautam, decided to remain in Los Angeles where they have a large, extended family.
After leaving Chase, Lisa changed careers and decided to ‘follow her art”, working in a variety of media: oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolors, graphite and colored pencils. Focusing on a style she calls ‘romantic naturalism” – impressionism based largely on subjects in the natural world – her works found their way into galleries in Los Angeles, Florida, Colorado and New York.
In 1995 Lisa was drawn to sumi-e and Chinese ink paintings after being introduced to both techniques through Asian friends. She later took up Chinese calligraphy and spent five years studying with Chinese master Zhu Cheng-jun prior to his return to China.
Lisa collaborates with Aikido practitioner/writer Beth Shibata, having illustrated and published two chapbooks on the relationship between sumi-e and Aikido and Iiado. Lisa also illustrated the charming children’s book, “Billy the Bullfrog Finds a New Home” written by Shibata.
A cancer survivor, Lisa is associated with University of Southern California School of Medicine, where she was treated, and has contributed her artwork in many forms; including licensing her artwork for cards, and is part of the permanent Art collection at the Jennifer Diamond Research Library at USC/Norris Cancer Center. She also was a featured artist in a documentary about the healing power of art produced by USC School of Cinematic Arts. More recently several of Lisa’s pieces were exhibited in a group show with 5 Japanese artists at Chozenji Temple, Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Today Lisa lives and paints in her Los Angeles studio in the Koreatown neighborhood. She maintains an internet presence at www.clouddragonart.com