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Heartfelt Artist, Lisa Holzl, Paints with Pure Emotion from Vivid Abstracts to Powerful Faces

Prolific art teacher, artist, and graphic designer, Lisa Holzl, from Sugar Grove, IL strikes a captivating pose. Scroll down to view her artwork...

During a difficult time in her life, Sugar Grove, IL artist and graphic designer, Lisa Holzl, decided to start an Art Journal for herself. She soon discovered that not only was the process emotionally cathartic, it also boosted her artistic growth.

“I began finding a new voice through color,” Lisa explains. “I’d start with three or four colors – they didn’t have to match – then paint and allow the picture to create itself. I began to realize the picture was actually revealing emotions deep inside myself. The process freed me to release the negative. I could always add something happy on top of that, if I wanted to.”

Lisa is not an artist who titles her paintings. Instead, she likes them to speak individually to each person without limitation.

“I like to play – I’m always experimenting – using a paint brush, my hands, or a palette knife to make it more organic,” she says. “As I work, I’ll turn the canvas upside down or rotate it sideways – it’s all part of my creative process.”

When viewing Lisa’s abstract art, the colors and designs reveal what she was feeling at the time. Abstract art, she says, also affords her a freer sense of creating. She can simply let go and splash her emotions vividly across the canvas.

Using acrylics, Lisa adds depth through multiple layers of color and builds texture from crumpled paper, modeling paste, or even plaster strips from home improvement stores.

Lisa says she’s obsessed with drawing faces – especially multi-cultural faces that depict powerful emotions. Although she doesn’t draw portraits, she uses photo references found on free photo websites like Unsplash. She then selects a face that intrigues and inspires her focusing on their prominent features and expressiveness. See her latest series (below) WOMEN OF STRENGTH.

Lisa’s childhood experiences still influence her work today. While growing up, she was the only Hispanic child living in a predominantly white neighborhood. Frequently targeted by bullies, she coped by simply stifling the effect it had on her. Now, she enjoys working with children -- from preschoolers on up – helping them find their creative self and expressing their individuality. She gives individual art lessons in addition to teaching classes at both Water Street Studios and St. Mary Catholic School in Elgin.

Now in her third year as a resident artist at Water Street Studios in Batavia, IL she enjoys having designated space to paint and the opportunity to work among an eclectic group of busy artists.

Her inspiration?

“Definitely my alone time,” she says. “I like to get into a Zen-like zone and enjoy the freedom of inner exploration. It’s important not to limit yourself, but simply allow creativity to flow out in its own way.”

Advice for aspiring artists?

“Find your inner child,” she recommends. “Art is a journey in itself – keep your eyes open as a person and don’t be afraid to explore. Color both inside and outside the lines. Too often we do not allow ourselves that freedom once we become adults. It’s never too late to start something new.”

For more information, visit Lisa’s website at: HOME (

NOT ALONE; 3 ft. x 4 ft.; wrapped canvas; acrylic & mixed media; copper foil and Japanese paper; $450

From WOMEN OF STRENGTH series; 9 x 12 acrylic & mixed media on wrapped linen canvas; $75

From WOMEN OF STRENGTH series; 9 x 12 acrylic & mixed media on wrapped linen canvas; $75

WOMAN WITH BUTTERFLIES -- 30" x 40", Acrylic & Mixed Media on wrapped canvas; 3_D watercolor butterflies; marker. $400

WATERFALL; 18" x 24"; wrapped canvas, acrylic & modeling paste. $200

From Lisa's NEW HEALING series; 9 x 12 watercolor on watercolor paper


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