Deb Lawrence is a painter living and working outside Philadelphia in an historic farmhouse and barn, home to her studio. Beauty abounds in her surroundings and in the soulful paintings she creates. Drawing, painting and collage intermingle in decidedly authentic ways. In her latest body of work oil paint, acrylic, pastel and spray linger in and around collaged seams, enticing the viewer to look closely and ponder what’s underneath. Simple forms take on organic qualities which feel lively and personal, despite their abstract quality. Inspired by nature and reminiscent of Matisse’s cutouts, hand drawn and painted collaged elements serve as stepping stones in her Walk in the Park, Jump in the Lake and Stepping Stones series, an outgrowth of her frequent “nature bathing” walks amidst the withering weeds and towering trees in the woods and fields behind her studio…talking to the birds, worrying about the bears, when she couldn’t face the paint. Larger than life Asterisk paintings at first glance read “happy” with their bright colors and outstretched arms, yet, like any good footnote, leave the viewer pondering the important things left unsaid. After all, who doesn’t need an asterisk? “Enjoy! *covid.”
In a fitting nod to sustainability, repurposed antique linen and recycled brown paper bags are creased and collaged creating intriguing dimensional surfaces, then left outside, still wet, on a clothesline to wave and flail, creating fresh marks imprinted by the wind. Expanses of mesh-like fabric used to create her Color Fields are painted with ink and enamel and installed like swooping vines or laid on the ground to create trails with surprises at every turn. Layered, pieced and creased her work deals with our struggle to feel comfortable in our own skin in the unpredictable world around us by honoring the soulful beauty of our blemishes.