Lisette Lichtenstein

Photo credit: Caroline Kraus
Photo credit: Caroline Kraus

Fences I

encaustic on redwood

4’ x 8′




Lisette Lichtenstein is a Fine Art painter working in figurative and abstract imagery. Her paintings explore color, emotion, movement and themes of technology, as well as materials and concept. Mediums have included intaglio, silkscreening, acrylic, oil on large sheets of aluminum and encaustic.

While her professional background is as a Senior Art Director in Advertising Design, she has painted since childhood and her work has been collected by private clients as well as art consultants representing corporate clients.

Her studio is currently located at the Millworks Art Studios.




“Fences I” is the result of an opportunity to salvage solid redwood “basketweave” style fencing which my neighbor had decided to replace shortly after moving in adjacent to my backyard. I had had the fortune to have enjoyed the lovely sculptural quality of that fence for 10 years prior to the new neighbor and was sad to see it be replaced by a common substitute; thus was thrilled with the chance to salvage three lengths of the fencing, each four feet by eight feet.

Upon becoming involved in the cleaning, restoration and beauty of the wood, I faced many quiet questions about the symbolism of fences; in suburbia (where I live), or anywhere.

Is life better on the other side of the fence, or is it actually greener on my own side? Intensely so? A refection of someone’s insecurities to think that it’s greener on the other side?

The darkness of our imaginations, the unknown, awaits us on the other side; that is the symbolism of the black canvas against the back of the fence. What is better?

I love the richness of the bright chloroform green freshness of spring, as well as the haze of green algae that had grown on the fence through the years. There was evidence of many years of attempted repair – screws, staples, nails, dripping stain; it had only added character to the wood, like the weather-bent boards of the fence.

What did this mean? All of our lives are flawed but we are familiar with our own flaws; are the neighbors’ lives less so? Darkness beyond is the unknown, and yet, is that what we really want? Do good fences make for good neighbors? What’s a good fence?

I revert back to the fact that I loved the fence in all of its sculptural quality. Its weathering, its flaws.

I spent many hours lovingly encasing and archiving it with a drenching of encaustic in a vibrant, living, algae-esque and chloroform green as a testament to a life well lived on my own side of the fence. Imperfections and all.