Meet Our Instructors: Lisa Flahive

Lisa Flahive

Photo by Robert DeGabriele

Lisa is most widely known for her expressive drawings and watercolors of jazz musicians, which are created live, in the moment, on the bandstand.  This allows her to improvise, react, and communicate with the musicians.  She chooses water media because it reflects the life of the music and must be created boldly, in the moment.

Lisa paints what inspires her, such as cafes or chefs in the kitchen.  She also loves to capture the energy of a city, as seen in her vibrant street scenes, many of which are painted en plein air, at night.  Lisa is the artist in residence for Chateau Chantal Winery in Traverse City, Michigan, and paints live on the bandstand every Thursday during their popular Jazz at Sunset series.

Having a special interest in pen and marker sketches of lively street scenes, Lisa will be leading this year’s seminar workshop, Capturing Chicago’s Rhythm and Energy.

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To see more of Lisa’s work, please visit


Workshop 13: Capturing Chicago’s Rhythm and Energy

Instructor:  Lisa Flahive


This workshop will focus on creating energetic sketches of lively urban spaces without an eraser.  The instructor will start by using a range of large gray markers.  Participants will develop confidence by trying some short sketching exercises.  They will incorporate speed and take some risks in the sketching process.

Learning Goals:

Participants will learn to confidently capture the energy of the city by using:

  • dynamic composition with a focal point
  • line and shape
  • strong sense of value
  • connected shapes to unify the sketch


  • sketchbook
  • one or more technical pens
  • markers – black and two or more gray values (the instructor will demonstrate both wide and big brush markers, but participants may bring any sketching material that allows them to create a range of values)
  • portable stool

Lisa’s sketches:

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To see more of Lisa’s work, please visit