My gouache and oil paintings are of quiet, mysterious corners of the Bay Area and Northern California, often at twilight.  I live on a small island in San Francisco Bay, originally an oak-covered peninsula that now is separated from the Oakland shore by an estuary.  We are surrounded by water, and can hear the container ships and the fog horns out on the bay, as well as the trains coming and going from the Jack London station just across the estuary. It’s an evocative place for a painter.

I have been painting in gouache for decades. Gouache is water soluble like watercolor but can be worked as a pale aqueous wash or in opaque layers like oils or pastels. Underpainting and working light on dark are possible, as well as beautifully vivid color.  I use Arches heavy 300 pound hot press cotton rag paper for most of my work, and I also use stiff hog-bristle oil brushes, as well as watercolor brushes.  I frequently experiment with layers of aging varnishes, crackle varnishes, and tinted glazes to impart depth and patina to certain pieces. 

I do commissioned pet portraits set in landscapes and interiors that echo the pet’s character, family and history; and I’ve also begun a group of paintings I call “small curiosities” in oil and gouache, on subjects ranging from natural history to folktales to old Staffordshire china.  Many of these pieces are in antique frames that I have collected for years, making them truly one of a kind.

Many of my paintings, both oil and gouache, are “secret” landscapes—old neighborhoods, quiet gardens and shorelines, painted at the time of day when edges blur, details become merely light and shadow, and when representational images verge on the abstract.

Paintings can be purchased unframed or framed. High quality framing is very important to me.  I am inspired by the early California painters who often crafted their own frames to be literally part of the artwork. I choose the most beautiful and appropriate frame for each painting, and all of my work is framed with UV protective glass and archival acid free mounting materials and mats.

Almost all of my paintings are available as high-quality greeting cards and all are available as limited edition prints in a variety of sizes. My blank greeting cards, on 100% recycled stock, come with good quality envelopes and are in clear sleeves, either singly or in packages of any number. Signed prints, on heavy rag watercolor paper, are matted and ready to frame.

Lisa Haderlie Baker at Open Studios in Jack London Square, Oakland. 

Lisa Haderlie Baker at Open Studios in Jack London Square, Oakland.