Thanks to everyone who has been reading and responding to my blogs, Tweets, and Facebook notes. You helped get this Spotlight by your interaction. Without you I am making art in a vacuum. With you, I am sharing my art process and learning. Thanks to you!
Here is the article below. It can be found at this link.
SPOTLIGHT: Honor and pride attained by artwork
Published: Thursday, March 26, 2009
Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2009
Being a woman doesn’t come easy.
Most women agree, including studio art senior, Jaime Lyerly, who has learned this as an active feminist, a young mother and blooming artist, who never painted until she was 21 years old. With a refreshing point of view, Lyerly is a sculptor who explores her artwork through many mixed media; however, she has learned to take her artwork to the next level with an objective approach as she studies the psychological aspects of motherhood and the female body.
Unlike most artists with a previous art background in their youth, Lyerly never practiced art because her dad was in the military and her father did not consider art to have value. Eventually, Lyerly began painting when her boyfriend inspired her to try it just for fun.
“When I painted for the first time with him, I really enjoyed it.” Lyerly said. “We were working in acrylic paints on canvas. I liked the immediacy of paint from tube to canvas, the textures and the colors. I used every tube of paint that we had, applying the colors with my brush, fingers and palette knives.”
Lyerly volunteers at the Women’s History Museum and Educational Center and recently found encouragement in her art when her piece “Weaving My Story” was selected to be in the San Diego Women’s Caucus for Art and juried in a show called “Herstory.”
“I am so excited to have one of my pieces picked for the show,” Lyerly said. “It is my first show ever and it feels good that it was through an organization that I am a part of and held in a place that I have volunteered with for years.”
Lyerly builds most of her artwork and she finds that the pieces develop their own meaning as they progress. “Weaving My Story” is composed of an odd assortment of encaustic, beeswax, dressmaker patterns, nails, wood and yarn. The piece meant to imply that everyone makes life out of what surrounds them.
“I hope people can relate to it,” Lyerly said. “No matter how life started off, you can always make something beautiful out of it and they provide a structure for a story.”
Before Lyerly knew she was going to become an artist, she struggled as a mother.
“Each day was a chore, especially without much support,” Lyerly said. “My son needed my total devotion and I grew up very quickly to accommodate his needs. The burden of taking care of a child is hard on the body, mind and spirit; and I grew as a person because of these heavy responsibilities.”
Lyerly has previously studied psychology and English and each piece of art she has produced is loaded with meaning. With her different level of maturity from younger artists, Lyerly hopes to pursue expressive art therapy, which requires a master’s degree.
“Now I can look back in my time as a mother and explore motherhood more objectively,” she said. “When your art is too close to home, it becomes too sentimental and too cliché. It hurts when your art is critiqued and feels like a personal stab.”
Now at 31 years old, Lyerly feels more secure about herself and her artwork. She hopes people will connect their life to her art.
“My partner and son fully support my artistic pursuits, however, my father still believes it is a waste of time,” Lyerly said. “Luckily, I am able to produce work without parental support. That is one of the joys of being a self-supporting adult. I make my work not too personal and I like my artwork enough now, that I am willing to show people and have them connect their life to it.”
Happy Art Making! ~ Jaime
Lyerly’s piece is on display at the Women’s History Museum and Educational Center until Sunday.