Lisa Remeny Art is Flowing Through Her veins
July 4, 2018
Artistry seems to run in Lisa Remeny’s family. Her grandmother, an artist, a student at the prestigious Pratt Institute and a hat maker by trade was her inspiration. When Lisa was eight years old, her grandmother bought her an expensive watercolor brush with strict instructions for its care. Then she taught her how to paint in watercolor. Today, in addition to Remeny’s phenomenal success, three more of her grandmother’s eight grandchildren make their living in the arts.
Born and raised in South Florida, young Miss Remeny nevertheless studied at the California College of the Arts. She studied photography, filmmaking, jewelry, print-making, drawing but ironically not what would eventually become her career….painting. Although Remeny had made up her mind by the age of eight that she was going to be an artist and by the age of ten that she would one day be a clothing designer, it wasn’t until her first job at the age of 15 that she committed full-time…and for a lifetime, to be an artist. Remeny recalls that her first boss, for whom she was painting on leather, strongly encouraged her to dedicate her life to art.
The theme of her work would develop during the next phase of her life. Raised in sub-tropical South Florida, Remeny was invited to Jamaica in her early 20’s, her first foray outside of the U.S. She fell hard for the tropics. And she began to paint in her now signature tropical style using the palette of the Caribbean as her inspiration.
During her time in Jamaica, Remeny lived in the remote hamlet of Strawberry Fields on the North Coast of the Parish of St. Mary. Over the decades, Jamaica has maintained its allure for Remeny but that hasn’t stopped her from exploring more of the world’s tropic belt. She once spent a month sailing through the Exumas of the Bahamas on a 45 foot gaff-rigged schooner from the Gaspe Peninsula. She traveled to the South Pacific and frequented other parts of the Caribbean. From all of these experiences, Remeny has fused a style identified as Tropical Modernism.
Remeny deploys Tropical Realism to capture the light and lushness of the tropics. Her paintings reveal an affinity for all things equatorial: sunlight and moonlight reflected on clouds and seascapes, exotic flowers, fruits, and palms. Remeny then interprets her surroundings through oil paintings on canvas and mixed media on paper ranging from photo-realism to semi-abstract realism. She first began publishing her work in the form of greeting cards, in 1982. Remeny sums up her philosophy by saying; “I am moved to re-create beautiful things; drawn to the light, to look for the magic. My intention is to promote an aura of peace, happiness and well being.”
Remeny can often be found in her Spanish-style 1926 home and studio in the heart of Coconut Grove. From this base, she lives, paints and entertains. She is an excellent and well-heralded cook; she entertains frequently and is never shy of a good bottle of wine and a selection of fine cheeses. It is from here that Remeny has created thousands of her artistic images.
Remeny’s largest work to-date is the awe-inspiring installation at Grove Bank and Trust. 2000+ square feet of color adorn the once drab drive-up in their new building. She was also twice the poster artist for the world-famous Coconut Grove Art Festival. She began self publishing her own line of ArtCards in 1982, from which she has gained an international following. Today, Remeny’s works can be found in private and public collections worldwide. She is also well-acknowledged in Miami artistic circles. But there is a lot of change afoot for Remeny.
In 2017, 50 years after her stated desire to enter the field of clothing design; Remeny and her business partners launched ‘The Remeny Collection’. Beginning with an offering of exquisite silk scarves, the Remeny Collection is turning heads in the fashion world. Some of the first runs of her scarves have already sold out and two more designs will arrive in several weeks. The Lower Lobby Shops of the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables has begun carrying her line and new retailers are joining daily.
Next, The Remeny Collection is envisioning a line of women’s caftans, sarongs, swimwear, skirts, blouses, dresses and pants. Remeny finds her rising fashion profile exciting. A lifetime of work now has a new outlet in the truest sense, as wearable art. As she contemplates what comes next, Remeny gazes out the window, picks up her brush, sweeps back her long, silver and black hair, and begins another painting.
By Charles J. Kropke
W: Lisa Remeny