Theresa Lawless

Theresa Lawless is an artist residing in the Napa Valley. She is both a painter and a jewelry designer. She has had a life-long interest in art and nature and has melded these interests in her larger-than-life floral paintings. Her explorations in jewelry design began early in life when she took an advanced jewelry class in high school. She continued her studies in jewelry and art in college and through workshops. As a young adult, she primarily studied drawing while working towards a degree in Botany. When she started painting large flowers, she knew she had come home.


Theresa presents a “bee’s eye” view in her floral paintings. From this vantage point, the viewer is intimately involved in the sensuous allure of the flower and the intricate beauty of this little universe. The sole purpose of the flower is to seduce the pollinator and this seductive power comes through in her paintings. For this reason, she calls her paintings “Floratica”.


The subjects for these paintings are found in Theresa’s garden, on neighborhood walks, on hikes, in friend’s gardens and sometimes in flower shops. Theresa works from photographs that she takes of her subjects. She is always looking for a dramatic play of light and shadow. To accomplish this, she takes dozens of photos from multiple positions capturing light at different angles. She paints in a photo realistic style and in the process of painting the flowers come to life. It seems as if you can feel the texture of the petals or catch a sweet scent.

 

Originally her jewelry focus was in silver and precious gems but when she discovered polymer clay in 1995, she was hooked. It is a versatile medium and an adventure in color, design and form. She achieves her designs using a technique like millefiori (thousand flowers) glass making. Using different colors of clay, she forms an initial design. Similar to glass, a design in polymer clay can be made smaller and then put back together again and again to achieve the stunning and unusual patterns you see in Theresa's work.

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