Lisa DeLong studied painting at BYU with Wulf Barsch and Hagen Haltern, receiving a BFA in 1997 and an MA in Art History in 2001. She moved to London in 2001 where it was her privilege to study under Professors Keith Critchlow and Paul Marchant. She completed her doctoral studies at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in 2007, specializing in the principles of geometric design in Islamic and Western traditions.
Lisa now works for The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London, managing their international education programs, designing curricula, training teachers, and developing projects that lead to product development, community education, schools programs, and adult education. Lisa has taught courses in the art of geometry, symbolism, and traditional design in many parts of the world including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Syria, Egypt, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, China, and Pakistan.
In her work, Lisa is inspired by the cosmological symbolism and beauty of geometric pattern, the geometry of the sacred – patterns constructed in the traditional manner with compass and ruler. Her paintings explore order and the unexpected, chaos and cosmos.
No matter how complex or simple the design, the discipline of constructing a pattern begins with the use of a compass and the drawing of a circle. Meditation on the circle and its expression of the oneness of God lie at the heart of geometric pattern. The circle is a symbol of the Divine, the heavens, and all things celestial – a perfect symbol of unity and wholeness. It is the mother of infinite variety.
Circles are drawn with compasses, a tool which combines both rest (the fixed central point) and activity (the delineation of the circle’s circumference). A point punctures a navel into the center of the paper and the composition is circumscribed, divided, and beautified. Layers of crystalline pattern merge and diverge, reconciling one to another in harmony and unity.
Her palette comes from earth’s raw materials, with paints originating from stone, earth, plant, animal, and insect: nature is the origin of the artist’s palette. Wherever possible, her colours come by crushing semiprecious stones such as lapis lazuli and malachite and collecting a rainbow of earths to mix with a gum Arabic binder. This gives her colors a subtle but richly saturated harmony.
Lisa’s paintings are in several important collections, including that of HH President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan and HRH The Prince of Wales. Lisa was also honored to complete a commission for HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Her first book Curves: Flowers, Foliates and Flourishes in the Formal Decorative Arts was published in November 2013 and reviewed in the New York Times. In 2016 she presented a TEDx talk on geometry and education at Brigham Young University.