Lisa Gleim Jonas is part of a long line of Southern artists, some of whom are also successful portrait artists. She has always had an interest in painting, and even from an early age, was committed to becoming a traditional portrait painter. Ms. Gleim is strongly influenced by John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, and Cecilia Beaux, three of the great American Impressionists. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Ms. Gleim has studied under Burton Silverman, Cedric and Joanette Egeli and Margaret C. Baumgaertner. She finds it very important to continue her education and believes “an artist’s education is never-ending”.
Ms. Gleim began painting pet portraits in 2001 after the loss of her 14 year old Golden Retriever, Bonnie. Her husband Bill Jonas suggested painting a portrait of Bonnie would help ease the pain of the loss. She soon discovered that she was not the only one who considered her pets as part of the family. Since then, Lisa has received numerous portrait commissions for dog, cat and horse portraits, many of which have brought their owners to tears after seeing their pets immortalised on paper.
Ms. Gleim has also taken the opportunity to combine her two passions and uses her talent to benefit animal organisations. She has donated numerous pet portraits to local animal organisations year after year, including the Humane Society of Cobb County, the Atlanta Humane Society, the Atlanta Animal Alliance, Dixie Golden Retriever Rescue, and Happy Tails to name a few. Her portraits are always a highlight of the event and bring the groups well needed funds. She sees her donations as a unique way to aid animals in need. In 2004 Ms. Gleim became a member of the Artist’s Registry of the American Kennel Club’s Museum of the Dog.
Aside from portraiture, Ms. Gleim is also an award-winning landscape artist. When painting the landscape, she works in both pastel and oil and achieves two very different styles from each medium. She is particularly interested in capturing the beauty of light and how it affects the landscape. Each year she travels with a friend to paint on location for a week. Her destination of choice is usually the Southeast coast where she grew up spending time during her summers, as reflected in her work.
Both her landscapes and portraits can be found in many private collections throughout the East Coast, including the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Orthopaedic Division, the chambers of the Honorable Vice-chancellor Jack B. Jacobs in Wilmington, Delaware and Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceutical.
Ms. Gleim, along with five fellow artists and friends founded the Atlanta Fine Arts League in 2005. The League was created as a catalyst for their highly acclaimed community project, Art From The Heart; a project where Atlanta area artists have donated their time and talent to paint the portraits of Georgia’s fallen soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan free of charge for their families left behind. Please click on the link to learn more about this important project.
In January 2008, Georgia Public Television’s State of the Arts did a documentary about the project, following Lisa and two other artists and families. In June of 2009, the episode titled Art From the Heart was nominated and won an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Television News and Program Specialty Excellence. Watch the segment, here.
In 2000, after working and residing in Philadelphia for eight years, Ms. Gleim and her husband, Dr. Bill Jonas returned to her native home of Atlanta, Georgia where she maintains her studio and residence.