The Artful Life
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Life Notes From + For Those Who Live + Desire To Experience An Artful Life


I did a study recently where the subject of art being subjective came up. You know...you like what you like and it's ok that you like it and it doesn't matter if someone else doesn't.


It's the look and feel that you want to add to your home in that special spot. It reminds you that there is more and life has beauty. The colors make you feel calm and it emotes peace as you experience the blending of color and texture.


As an Artist, creating visuals with the goal being that they bring hope and life into a space, I imagine that these pieces become the backdrop to someone's life. It's hanging on the wall in the kitchen behind the table where many meals are shared and people blow out their birthday candles and share special moments that may never happen again.

As I began in this paragraph....As an Artist, there is the art I love to create and there is the art I love to live with.


Over my career and practice, I've created many pieces that I loved the process of. I have loved every brushstroke, mark, and color choice...but when I said "done", I was truly done with it. In the process, it was complete in me and ready to pass on and to be made available as an offering to the one who will make it the backdrop to their memories. I have no attachment....usually.


In this one instance, I've managed to actually create a piece that I would love to live with and it could grace any wall here at the Lakehouse.


There is something very peaceful and moving to me about how the texture interacts with the color. There isn't one shade of blue, but many subtle shades that bring me in as it ministers to my soul.

The marks and lines tell a story of the process of it's coming to completion that makes me smile.



I could live here for a while.




"A New Wave" makes me feel as though there is new hope, fresh energy, and a wash of goodness in what can seem like a very dark world.






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During my 1 year journey through a mastery art program that takes it's participants through many disciplines in creating art, (drawing, accuracy, oils, acrylics, mixed media, marketing, and more) there were many valuable nuggets that were gleaned. One of the most impactful was a section in the program that was very personal and helped me clarify and pinpoint my voice and focus. It was always there to a degree, but the awakening to it has been way more than what I anticipated it to be.

On one particular lecture, the instructor shared about her testimony and she said the words "Paint the opposite of your pain"


Part of the exercise and lesson was to write down your deepest wounds, hurts, pain....it didn't matter. Write it all down, read it, say it. I did. I did again....I cried, asked for forgiveness and went to a place even harder and that was to forgive.


What does this have to do with creating authentic, impactful, and purposeful art?

to me?, everything!

"Royal Intent" (in process) by Tina Lawver


I spent many years creating pretty things and that's ok. I still occasionally will create decorative art, paint a piece of furniture, and make a vignette or flower arrangement....that's art too! But, I must say, that the most eternal thing I can do with my artwork is authentically show up to the easel and paint in opposition to the pain that this world can inflict on us.


I battle in protest to the lie that we are not worthy, that we aren't created in the image of a loving God Who has intentionally purposed us.

I paint in opposition to victimhood, so you will see themes of overcoming in my work.

Peace in the midst of chaos, Light in the Darkness, Dominion...not Defeat, Wonder and Freedom...not Fear and Failure. Relationship, not Religion.


More and more, as I continue to create, I see these themes to be free flowing as it is impossible to act in an opposite way of how I think and it is also difficult to not impart what is being revealed in my Spirit onto the canvas. I could be painting a floral and the way the colors blend, the tilt of the flower toward the light, and how it reacts to what else is in the composition will all work together to speak life and hope and that there is more.


I pray that I'm always able to battle authentically, with purpose, and paint in opposition to that which comes against us.


blessings, Tina





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Updated: Mar 8

The Freeing process of making a mark

How much do I love this quote attributed to Kandinsky, who has been called the father of abstract art?


There is an air of Freedom in this quote. I've come to learn that in most freeing activities there are also boundaries. These boundaries allow us to dance creatively within them. Our hearts soar when we know there are boundaries that help us create our intended piece.


Whether you are an experienced artist or an investigating one, knowing some rules, if you will, can get you going and help you create a beautiful and successful abstract piece of art.


I used to look at these free flowing pieces and admire them for the movement and color and think how beautiful they are. I had, for the majority of my artistic pursuits, created more lifelike and realistic works. That served me well as I've learned that one must be able to do that and be able to render out a subject with accuracy in order to really understand the complexity of an abstract piece.


Sounds a bit weird, I know, but as Kandinsky said....It demands that you know how to draw...he even says "draw well"


So....#1, DRAW, if you don't draw, there are many tutorials that can teach space, proportion, variety of line....all the good things about sketching. Just invest in an inexpensive sketch pad and pencils, an eraser, blending stump and make some marks.

No one is looking over your shoulder in judgement, just draw

choose a simple photo of a bird, tree, beachball, whatever and begin. You may fall in love with it.


Draw circles and lines....squint your eyes at your subject and realize that everything we see are shapes that relate to each other and see yourself finding beauty in the simplicity of that.


#2, Heighten your sensitivity for COMPOSITION, as our quote points out.


Think of a square and the focal point needs to be upper Right, upper Left, Lower Right, lower Left.


Never in the middle...Why, because we perceive the beauty of things when they are off, when they are odd

It's how we are designed

In my Artist Brain, the circle area filled with metallic copper than has a shine to it is the focal point of this piece entitled "Traveler"


I tend to think of focal points as the star of the show and the rest of the mark making as part of the supporting cast. The focal point is the most interesting, intense, unique, bright spot in the painting. It's where ones eye rests and goes to first.



#3, COLOR...Pick up or print out a color wheel. How beautiful this simple guide is! You'll discover that what makes the color blue live it's best life is when it is blessed to be near it's compliment of orange opposite on the color wheel. Creating a quieter, softer transition, the same blue can be integrated with its neighbors on the color wheel, (soft greens/violets), and create harmony and a peace experience for you and your viewer.

I would say that spending time with color can bring out the poet in you.

This leads me to

#4...The POET in us.

One thing that allows an artist, creator to dance freely using the above so called rules or boundaries is our unique and wonderous view of the world and what we want to express.


To me, this is the most valuable part of a painting.

No other person can say what you have to say, not one other person is exactly like you. With each mark, with each stroke of the brush as color is laid down, you have imparted yourself into the piece.

I am confident that anyone can learn to paint...truly.

but what each individual brings to a work of art is the work of art they are and that is the uniqueness that is you.


All art materials are just that...inanimate supplies. They are nothing but potential until the poet, the artist, takes them in hand.


Thank you for reading and if you are intrigued by the thought of creating your own masterpiece no matter what level of creative you are, please feel free to contact me. I'd be honored to be your guide.

Blessings, Tina


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