Lisa McGarry – Writer, Painter and Fine Artist

How far could following your thing take you?  How about a life in one of the world’s most beautiful cities?

This week I’d like to introduce you to, Lisa McGarry.

Lisa McGarry

Lisa McGarry

Lisa has a thing for Italy. Specifically, she loves the city of Florence and its beautiful Piazzas (that’s piAzzas, not pizzas–though I bet she likes those too). In Lisa’s words:

“I was drawn into the stories of the multi-talented artists who had given Florence its churches and bridges, palaces and piazzas, and the graceful terra-cotta cupola that has served as a point of reference since the Renaissance.  From my first walk through Florence, when those secondhand memories finally came to life, I was enchanted…”  (excerpt taken from

After years of traveling to Florence for inspiration, Lisa decided to focus her efforts on writing a book about the Piazzas of Florence. She pitched her idea to publishers, reworked her book concept many different times, and ultimately made the decision to relocate with her family to Italy to pursue her dream full-time. After years of effort, in 2008 she was able to secure a publisher and realize her goal of being a published author.

Photo of the Piazzas of Florence

The Piazzas of Florence by Lisa McGarry

After getting her book “The Piazzas of Florence” published, Lisa has remained in Florence, working as a painter, photographer and writer. Her most recent works of art are beautifully crafted hand made artist books. The term “books” is a bit of a misnomer–Lisa’s inspired creations range from accordion books and wooden treasure boxes to voyager’s chests. They are constructed using marbled Florentine papers and other fine materials, and showcase Lisa’s love for all things Italian. Her rich use of visual textures invites the viewer to explore on numerous levels. They elevate the concept of a book–these are collector-quality works of art.

Voyager Chest by Lisa McGarry 

Invitation to Florence

Between Sea and Sky

Between Sea & Sky

When Lisa is not writing and conjuring up amazing works of art she blogs about Florence and her creative process at arzigogolare (Italian for “to let your mind wander, to muse, to daydream.” If you like Lisa’s work (and who wouldn’t!) you can buy her prints, cards and books at her on-line store PaperSynthesis, which can also be found on her website

Where might your thing take you? France, Bali, Nepal? Don’t limit your potential. Allow your mind to wander, follow your heart and see where it leads you.

Brunelleschi's Cupola by Lisa McGarry

*  All images and quotes were used with the permission of the artist, and are the property of Lisa McGarry *


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Filed under Book Binding, bookbinding, hobbies, Photography, Travel

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