Tina Lawver – Mixed Media

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Name of Business: Tina Lawver

How would you describe your art?

I would say that I am a mixed media artist using many different materials to achieve both the depth of story and message in a piece. I want my work to be narrative, open ended, so that the viewer feels a part of the story.

Who is an artist that inspires you? Why?

So many artists inspire me and my work in different ways. Currently, I am drawn to Elli Milan’s work. She has a magical, ethereal quality to her work. I’m also so energized by other creatives and inspired as they shine doing their artistry.

Please describe your creative process.

My creative process often begins with play. I begin with being free with different materials such as inks, mark making, and even spray paint. I love to stain the canvas and sort of break it in bringing it into the process and allowing it to have a say in what it’s going to become. My subjects (if there is one) are often hinted to as those beginning layers are laid down. I love to create as many layers, textures, and depth as possible… it’s so fun to watch as the viewer discovers something as they approach the piece. Refining the piece and finishing them in oil glazes brings in even more life. The hardest part for me is deciding when a piece is done.

What are your favorite materials or mediums to work with?

My favorite materials are all materials. I’m intrigued by possibility.

What are you trying to communicate with your art?

I’m doing my best to communicate hope and positivity with my work. Possibilities are infinite and beauty is everywhere.

What is your favorite quote? Why?

“Don’t wait for inspiration, it comes while working” Henri Matisse I believe this is one of my favorites because so many wait for inspiration to strike (I used to) and it simply doesn’t work that way. Art is intentional. All the materials are laid before us but they are just stuff until the artist interacts with it. We are the magic and inspiration comes in the process of just doing it. It’s a beautiful thing. Also I love the quote by Flannery O’Connor…”Artists bring the far things near”

When did you start making art? Why?

Though I’ve been creative as long as I can remember, I painted my first painting at the age of 23 using craft paint, 1 brush, and a spatula using a magazine tear page as a source. It was so healing as I was having some post partum issues after having our son. I loved how I got lost in trying to make the tree in the painting look like the photo and noticing all of the details and how hours passed and how good that process felt. I began finding every learning avenue I could and it became part of my daily life.

What is the most influential piece of art that you have experienced? Tell us about what it means to you.

Standing in front of a beautiful piece created by Jonas Gerard in his gallery in Asheville, NC. My husband and I found ourselves just immersed in this abstract piece. That moment was so impactful because it was the first time I had ever felt an emotion, like a gut punch, a breathtaking moment and realized that my goal is to, one day, create art that does that. Lofty goals.

What career highlights would you like to share?

I’ve been blessed to lead workshops, teach, and coach lovers of art and those who want to further their knowledge and skill. It’s incredible to be a part of someone’s growth as so many are a part of mine. I’ve had the opportunity to serve as featured artist in the Savannah Artwalk in Savannah, Georgia which was an honor to be standing before artists I admire, most graduating from SCAD, my dream school, and having them ask me, a self taught artist, about my process and work. That was amazing. My greatest career highlights are always that moment when someone connects with a piece. It’s like we share something sacred now. It’s magical and priceless to me.

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