Thursday, January 17, 2013

artist interview with Mindy Lacefield


A few years ago I had the privilege of meeting Mindy at an art retreat. I was instantly drawn to her big smile and adorable style.  We created a lovely bond during the course of the retreat and had great conversations over a glass of wine at night along with the other gals.  I so thankful that our paths crossed and I'm over the moon excited that she'll be teaching at my very first retreat! 
I asked Mindy if she would share some insights with us regarding her art and her teaching style.  She graciously accepted. 
 How long have you been making art and how has your work evolved over time?

I started painting in 2006. Wow, has it already been 7 years?!
I had an epiphany when I saw the full moon over the Atlantic after driving back from a wine tasting in Santa Barbara wine country.....that I wanted to start painting. When I came home, I couldn't help but paint that beautiful moon that was etched in my memory. I look back at it now and it seems so amateur, but I keep that painting to remind myself of those humble beginnings. I always tell people to go back to my older work to see how I've evolved. (

 What does being an artist mean for you

I seriously think everyone is an artist....or can be. I think you only have to insert love, passion and the desire to create. Once that happens, it is inevitable set aside fear and put your brush to canvas.

 Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from my childhood. The nostalgia of simpler times. The neon colors. Finding the beauty among the chaos. And choosing to illuminate those tiny moments of pure bliss from the everyday occurrences.

You teach both online and in person workshops. Tell me a little bit about what you like best about each type of class.
I love teaching online because I'm able to reach folks from all over the world. We can come together in a virtual classroom to support each other and offer encouraging words. The support to fellow students has absolutely been wondrous to witness. The artwork inspires me right back. Teaching in person offers me the ability to meet my students face-to-face. To see the emotion in their eyes when they make a discovery that they didn't know they possessed is just about the most magical thing I think I've ever seen.
 How would you describe your teaching style?
My teaching style is loose, free-flowing, and intuitive. I like to tell my students to leave your brain at the door. Over-thinking is not allowed. I encourage them to paint quickly without much thought. If you worry about the outcome you tend to become frozen or blocked. And if you love the process of painting you will want to do it all the time. The actual process is all about building up layers of symbols, words, color, marks. And its all about creating from the heart of a child. To hold a pencil like a child and scribble till your hearts content!!
 What inspired you to start teaching?
I didn't ever set out on this journey to teach. I wanted to paint the way I wanted to paint, that was all.
I was a student at another art retreat and someone came up to me and asked me if they could sit by me and watch me paint during our free time. As she looked on I began giving her simple instructions on how I paint a face and what how color can be used in achieving depth and dimension within the face. She then went and painted her own girl in my style. I was then forever hooked!
What advice would you give to someone who doesn't feel like they are creative?

I think we are all creative. Human beings were made like their Creator. We were designed to be a creative thinking being. I feel if you can set fear aside and possess the desire and willingness to learn (yes, you can learn to draw. I did) then there is nothing stopping you. I hear all the time that people don't think they have the God-given talent to draw, paint, knit, or play the piano. But it can be learned. There is no secret potion that you can drink that will instantly make you a great painter. But there is passion. There is persistence. And there is getting in the studio every day. Yes, it is work. But if you LOVE painting, then you will want to put in the work. You can't not. It becomes a part of your soul that you can no longer live without. All you have to do is set aside fear and make those beautiful mistakes. Because herein lies the magic!

 Can you share with us one of your favorite quotes?
I have a few......

"It took me 4 years to learn to paint like Raphael and a lifetime to paint like a child." - Pablo Picasso

Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.” ~Neil Gaiman

All art requires courage.” ~Anne Tucker

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” - Nietzsche

Thank you so much for your time Mindy!  I can't wait to spend some good quality time with you, painting, laughing and connecting! 

 I hope you'll consider joining us for the Nurture Your Creative Seed retreat!   Please see the retreat page for more information and find out how you can sign up to be a part of this special weekend. 

Shine on!