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Member Spotlight- Heather Lawley

I am a newer, self-taught, multi-talented artist on the art scene. I was born and raised in Ohio, but have lived in Texas for twenty-seven years.

I never really considered myself artistically inclined until I found the mediums that suited me well. Of course, I was also busy with other things like kids and didn’t have a lot of time for being artsy. The last time I took an art class was in middle school around 1983. My mom insisted I take shop classes in middle school and I found I enjoyed working with wood. When I was sixteen, someone introduced me to wood burning. I fell in love with it and was a natural when it came to knowing how much pressure to apply to the tool and which tips to use for the desired effects. As drawing wasn’t my forte, I used patterns that I transferred to the wood. I learned about coloring on wood and various ways of sealing wood burning art. Fast forward a few years and I was graduating college from UNT with a BA in German Studies and minored in business. I had already started a family and my focus was my husband and the kids. I worked as a travel agent for fifteen years, have been a Jazzercise instructor for thirteen years, and currently working in the hospitality business.

How did I find my way to being an artist? In 2020, a video showed up in my Facebook feed about chalk paint art on wood. I knew I could do it and make it better. So I created myself a 6’ long photo clip board for decorating. The process also included salt wash and 3-D stenciling. Then, I saw another video about acrylic pour art. I was instantly drawn to it. Investing in over $2000 in supplies, I got to work. I was selling canvases within a month of painting. I had become addicted to abstract art. As the months past, my exploration into what all I could do turned more and more to mixed media. In 2021, I took Honorable Mention for three pieces at The State Fair of Texas for a wooden clock, acrylic, and mixed media. I received Honorable Mention at the RAL juried show in acrylic. At the young age of forty-eight, I became a professional artist. My favorite thing to paint is seascapes and working with sunset colors. My weakness is keeping my hand from shaking when working small details with a paint brush.

In February 2021, I decided to paint my own tiles for a laundry sink backsplash. I took a photo and posted it to the NextDoor app. Susie Varner of the Rockwall Art League saw my post and recruited me. Little did I know that a few months later, I would be a member-at-large for the board of the RAL and now the 1st VP of Social Media & Programs.

I enjoy coloring pictures, practicing water colors & photography, painting canvas, silk floral design, and want to explore encaustic wax in the future. I’m also a poet. Perhaps, it is because I am a newer artist that I can’t pick just one or two mediums. I’m like a sponge learning all that I can. A person doesn’t know what they can do until they try and practice at it. That’s exactly where I am at. Plus, it is great therapy for when having a difficult day.

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