INSIDE THE ARTIST’S STUDIO/ Mixed Media Artist Lawson Throughout the ages, public figures have frequently chosen single-name identities to improve recognition and boost their fame. From the music industry came Cher, Sting and Bono. Sports gave us Pelé and The Refrigerator. And, for centuries, the world of fine art was defined by such greats as Rembrandt, Monet and Picasso.
Mixed Media Artist Lawson in his home-based studio working on “Claritas”, a 72″x24″ acrylic polymer on wood.
This tall, soft-spoken and extraordinarily talented artist does not consider himself to be “Creator” of his one-of-a-kind abstract works; he prefers to think of himself as “Facilitator”. He believes that creativity flows from inner spaciousness – a process that works best unencumbered. By assuming a different name, Lawson explains, he minimizes any risk of the artist’s ego interfering with the natural creative process.
Lawson, an amateur artist since his high school days, began painting professionally about ten years ago. Although he has a day job, Lawson spends much of his available time working in the home-based studio he maintains in the San Clemente home he shares with wife Connie.
According to Lawson, he doesn’t plan out his paintings ahead of time. He may select materials that best express a particular idea or concept, but that’s where the planning stops and the creative process takes over. According to Lawson, experimenting is “a fundamental part of [the] process… where Artist meets mad scientist”. He paints on cradled wood and aluminum (the kind made for signage), and frequently works on several pieces at a time. His latest body of work combines a mixed medium of acrylic, ink, collage, transfers with a three-dimensional assemblage structure of found objects.
Lawson applies a robust, high-gloss resin finish to many of his works. The process is labor intensive and “a little unnerving” – understandable, considering that the resin affords him only three to four minutes of work time before it solidifies. An error at this stage in the process can destroy the artwork. He first ensures that the artwork is completely level before mixing and pouring the resin. He works in a well-ventilated area and uses fans to redirect fumes and keep dust and debris off the artwork surface. When the pour is complete, he uses a heat gun to remove any bubbles in the resin – and then covers the piece to protect it while the resin cures.
All in all, Lawson considers his in-home studio to be adequately equipped to handle artwork production challenges, but he’s quick to admit that he’d really “rather be in a Paris loft.” Most artists will admit to having a favorite work; Lawson’s favorite is a three-dimensional, 48” x 48” diptych entitled, “Sticks and Stone” that currently resides in Aransas Pass, Texas. Although he admits that it’s hard to part with a favorite painting, Lawson likens it to having a litter of puppies: as much as he would like to keep them all, he knows that they have to find a good home!
We at Laguna Art-A-Fair are looking forward to celebrating our 50 years of fine art this summer – and, we’re pleased that Lawson will be returning to the show for a 6th year. Make sure to stop by to meet Lawson and see what’s new!
The 2016 season of Laguna Art-A-Fair runs from June 24 through August 28, 2016.
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According to Lawson, experimentation plays a significant role in the creative process.
Working with resin can be a daunting task in which many things can go wrong. Lawson had one ill-fated session that left a large house fly embedded in the painting! Photos (clockwise, L-R): leveling the artwork, pouring the resin and removing air bubbles with a heat gun.
This 48″x48″ diptych, entitled “Sticks and Stone”, is one of Lawson’s favorite works.
Lawson works in an wide range of sizes – from a modest 12″x12″ to up to 96″ in length! Shown here (clockwise, L-R): “Return to Eden” (18″x24″), Emerald City (30”x20”) and “Sea Dance” (96″x20″).