Newswise — EVANSTON - Clay boards blackened with India ink are instantly transformed with the swipe of a knife into intricate designs that celebrate our living ecology.

“Storylines,” an exhibit of new scratchboard works by Lisa Goesling, will be on view Oct. 20 through Nov. 27 at Northwestern University’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery, located at Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive on the Evanston campus.

Nature is the inspiration for Goesling’s designs, and her works capture its fleeting forms. Botanic elements such as the patterns of a leaf, the texture of tree bark and the ripples of a cabbage are assiduously represented in her art.

The exhibit includes two series that embrace the mystical quality of scratchboard. “Environmental Movement,” inspired by ecopsychology (the study of the relationship between humans and nature), concentrates on nature’s details. “Spontaneous Combustion” uses line to convert nature’s minute details into geometric shapes and tell the story of design through movement, pattern and texture.

Goesling probes and abstracts nature for its aesthetic value, creating hyper-detailed renderings of her observations. She etches her design with an X-acto knife into black scratchboards composed of Kaolin clay covered with dark India ink, coaxing her meticulous images to burst forth from the white clay. In some instances, colored inks are added to give luster and depth to her ecological visions. Goesling does not sketch first or erase, allowing the viewer to experience the energy of her creative process.

Goesling’s interest in art started early. At age 12, she began taking classes at the School of the Art Institute. She ran her own graphic design firm before devoting herself full time to art a decade ago. Since then her work has been shown extensively throughout the country. Exhibition awards include Best Show for 2014 in the Less is More: Small Works in a Great Space at the Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s Gallery in Annapolis, Maryland, an Award of Excellence and the Critic’s Choice Award in the 2013 Manhattan Arts International Competition and winner of the 2015 D&AD Award of Excellence in London.

In spring 2017, she was awarded an artist residency at The Studios of Key West and completed a two-year artist residency at the Merchandise Mart of Chicago.   

Related events

Opening Reception
Friday, Nov. 3, 4 to 6 p.m.

An opening reception with artist Lisa Goesling will be held in the Dittmar Gallery. Admission is free and open to the public.

Scratchboard Workshop
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 6 to 8 p.m.

Lisa Goesling will lead a workshop on scratchboard drawing. Admission is free and scratchboards will be provided. Space is limited to 30 participants. Reservations can be made on the Dittmar website.

Dittmar Gallery admission is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Sundays, except when a new exhibition is being mounted.

For more information, visit the Dittmar website, call the Dittmar Gallery at 847-491-2348 or email [email protected].

Dittmar Gallery is a member of the Northwestern Arts Circle, which brings together film, humanities, literary arts, music, theatre, dance and visual arts.