Wk 11 — Artist OTW — Student Choice
Artist: Stephanie Lawhorn
Media: Oil and Acrylic On Canvas
Stephanie Lawhorn is an art educator in Texas, and is for the most part, a contemporary and abstract artist. Lawhorn uses her Christian Faith as basis of most,if not, all of her art. Besides the religious inspiration, Lawhorn’s mother was a freelance artist, so that played an essential part in Lawhorn exploring her career and creativity as an artist. Lawhorn previously majored in Wildlife Sciences because the outdoors, where God’s creations are, makes Lawhorn feel closer to God. That was before changing her direction to creating Art, but Wildlife sciences nevertheless influences some of her creations.
Lawhorn, for the most part, utilizes texture and variable colors to display her inspiration from God. One example of variable color is her “Forgiven” peice.
The piece mainly contains a mixture of many reds, and presumably applied with dabbing on the canvas. The dabbing of acrylic or oil accomplishes the three-dimensional quality. What greatly contrasts the textured dark red portion are drips of gold that run along the canvas. They look like attempted outlines of mountains that also happen to run towards the bottom, covering a good portion of the piece. Compared to the texture of the red, the drips are gentle. It gives an animated quality of flow.
Lawhorn’s art varies in how heavily influenced each piece is with her Christian faith. “Forgiven” is what I was able to interpret, but her other art also portrays other concepts and nature. The texture that Lawhorn uses is an effective attempt to bring things to life. The piece feels more tangible. It’s what makes Lawhorn’s art feel more real compared to other acrylic and oil works. It makes her work feel so relatable. The use of vibrant color is aimed at so well in this “Forgiven” piece. The texture and the dark red color may very well likely represent imperfect aspects of human nature while also acknowledging that a human is a human with the blood-like color. The rough texture highlights human imperfection. The gentle flowing application of gold is there to portray God’s forgiveness, acceptance, and the grace that comes with it. Both the smooth appearance and color shows God’s forgiveness as welcoming, calm, and the positive aspect of the human experience, in which is represented by dark red. Here, Lawhorn may be appreciating how God works and is accepting when it comes to being human.
Lawhorn’s art, however, is not entirely abstract such as the example above. Lawhorn sometimes likes adding flowers into some of the pieces. It’s to explore outdoor nature. Lawhorn sometimes likes to show where she gets the inspiration on Instagram such as the example above with her painting of grapes and the vineyard behind her. To me, I really do love the idea of making art that spawns from the celebration of something or the idea. Lawhorn celebrates her faith and the outdoor nature around her. Though I am not a Christian, her abstract art entirely captivates me. The range of colors that Lawhorn uses feels so aesthetically right. The colors complement so well and sometimes brings back unintelligible aspects of my recent and far memories. Without knowing the meaning behind some of them, I already feel joy. It makes me wonder if Lawhorn and I feel the same things, but for different reasons. It’s as if the human experience is interconnected among everyone. As a result, it brings to my attention that I would love to paint what I feel as Lawhorn portrays her faith and her appreciation of nature. I never paint abstractly, but this is a call to explore abstract art. I feel that I would fail to do so, but it’s worth trying to portray my thoughts, and values. That would isolate ideas from the whole situation, which is an interesting and vital part of abstract art.