Lisa Maria O’Connor was born on May 27th 1965 in Kingston, Jamaica. She moved to Trinidad with her family when she was very young where she attended St. Joseph’s Convent in Port of Spain from 1977 to 1981. Having attained “A” passes in the General Certificate Examinations, London, she decided to further her art education because of her love for it. She began viewing her work professionally at this stage and was greatly encouraged when she sold two paintings to an insurance company for a fairly large sum. After finishing high school, she went on to study at the Art Institute of Boston (USA) from 1983 to 1986. She graduated at the age of twenty with a Diploma in Fine Arts and with the highest honours in the graduating class, given to the most outstanding graduate of that department.
From 1986 to 1988 she attended the Massachusetts College of Art and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and with honours, receiving the Marguerite Guilfoile Fund Award. While she was studying abroad, her parents had been submitting her work to the Trinidad Art Society’s Annual Exhibits when in 1986 she received an award for excellence in the field of painting.
On completing her degree she returned to Trinidad where she continued her career in art until her first solo exhibition in 1990 under the sponsorship of Scotia Bank, Trinidad. Since then she has held many solo exhibitions both in Trinidad and abroad, her latest being at the Commonwealth Institute in London. She has also participated in many group exhibitions locally and as far away as Japan.
Her artistic subject matter is drawn from the world about her and she prefers to work from the motif on the spot. Her journey is a solitary one, being accustomed to working alone continues to enjoy the discourse of her work. While dealing with externals, she tries nevertheless to respond to the essence of her subject matter through the direct and open nature of their involvement with it. Her style of painting is in the “beaux arts” tradition, but she brings to this a distinctive freshness of her own.