Our latest RAD collaboration is with Lisa Congdon, a Portland, Oregon-based fine artist, author and cyclist. Her playful work is recognized for its vibrant palettes, geometric patterns and uplifting messages. We caught up with Lisa in the Columbia River Gorge to chat about the inspiration behind her art, how she "gets in the flow", and of course, cycling.
Tell us about your new print, Terra Fauna.
I took a trip in 2020 to a place called the Painted Hills and I’d say this print is inspired by this place. I spent a week there drawing and painting. In the Painted Hills, you are surrounded by all kinds of fossils and rock formations and everything is orange, purple, and the sky is so blue. There are lava rocks that match the colors you see on this blanket!
Where do you find inspiration?
I derive inspiration from how I’m feeling on any particular day. A lot of my work is driven by what I'm excited about, upset about, something in the world I want to change, or something in the world I want to highlight that is amazing and beautiful. I’m driven by my own adventures out in the world, my own story, and my own struggles.
What motivates you to create?
I can't imagine a life without creating. Art gave me life in a sense. It made me feel a sense of calm and happiness - so I couldn’t not do it. We live in a world that feels overwhelming and chaotic and art is a way to translate what I’m feeling.
"I’m driven by my own adventures out in the world, my own story, and my own struggles."
Tell us about your passion for biking!
I’m about equal parts passionate about art and biking. I think these two passions definitely overlap. Art is so cerebral, I’m always thinking about what I’m creating and when I bike, I'm just in my body, using my body allowing my imagination to flow without thinking too hard about anything. This really helps me to be better creative when I’m back in the studio.
What about moving around in the outdoors by bike inspires your artwork?
When I bike, I'm in the flow. I’m fully present. Cycling and art require discipline, but also provide meditative relaxing opportunities for me.
What elements from nature do you like to include in your art?