Show 2 : Lacey Musgrave Navy

Artist: Lacey Musgrave

Medium: Mixed media

Show: Vol. 2

I was born on a Wednesday in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in December of 1987. From a very young age I was drawn to colors; how they mingle and dance together, how they create different versions and shades of themselves without effort, and how they can express palpable emotions without words. I began painting lessons at nine years old, where I learned the fundamentals of oil paints and how to explore their dynamic versatility.

Throughout my childhood, I was an eager arts enthusiast without being aware that I was engaged in the creation and expression of art. I excelled at any stringed instrument I touched. I filled any blank page I could find with poems, short stories, and cerebral musings. I learned whatever artistic trade I could find in order to articulate what my brain couldn’t get my mouth to speak – crocheting, pottery, knitting, embroidery, jewelry making, sculpting, until ultimately, I found my way back to painting (with significant motivation from my husband!). I have a Master’s in Social Work and am currently employed full-time at a Children’s Advocacy Center. There, I assist in the investigation of child abuse and neglect by providing investigative forensic interviews for Law Enforcement and Child Protective Services and TraumaFocused therapy to child victims of sexual and physical abuse and neglect.

I am an exceedingly visceral person. I am also what some would call a “healer” in the vein that I help children heal from unspeakable trauma. I function intuitively and through feelings. While some people think in numbers and letters; I think in emotions and color. It can be challenging to extract myself from the tangled vines of thought that drape across the jungle of my mind, so I have always needed an outlet lest I short-circuit.

Allowing my thoughts and subsequent emotions to drain out of me like torrential rain has always been the only way to keep my ship from sinking, and painting in this expressive, psychedelic fluid style has become my sail in the storm.

My husband, Tyler, and I began Peace House Art in an attempt to continue and share the healing I have been able to find through art. We have become hyperaware of the increasingly propagandized outpouring of negative rhetoric from the mainstream media, music, movies, and culture that is slowly poisoning us without our conscious awareness. Our goal is to “heal the world” – one piece of art at a time. The need to understand inspires me. I want to understand the way the paints flow together, which mediums cause what effects, and what looks good splashed across a canvas. I am also inspired by love, and learning how to make the world (and myself in the process) better than before we started. In addition, I have felt such an incredible amount of love and encouragement from fellow resin and fluid artists from all across the globe since I began using these materials. It serves as a major driving factor to continue pouring my paints, and helps eliminate (or at least minimize drastically) self-doubt!

I’m also inspired by making art a full-time career one day, as we eventually want to make Peace House Art a standalone studio, allowing us to continue to expand our artistic ventures.

Since this type of painting is often referred to as “flow” painting, I tried to imbue each piece with a certain type of “flow” I felt represented these military branches. Wispy, cloudy bits in the Air Force; bubble-like ocean globules for the Navy; camouflaged greens of the Army, and red and gold-tasseled silver cellular waves for the Marine Corps. Since I have never served, I only had the stories and experiences of my family and friends to draw upon stories of strength, honor, and the incredible feats possible only with determination and a courageous heart. My father in law is an Air Force Veteran, like my own father who passed away a decade ago. I tried to pay tribute to these men who are so important to me while creating these pieces, and hopefully I did something that they would be proud of.

I use two part epoxy resin that dries rock hard and crystal clear, much like plastic or glass. It can be used for a variety of things, from jewelry to painting to coating furniture and so on. I mix up the resin and either pour it straight onto the canvas, which is typically a piece of sanded and primed wood, or mix it in with highly pigmented yet thin paints. I also used Pebeo Fantasy and Vitrail paints in two of the paintings, which cause a variety of unique effects ranging from cellular droplets to a satisfying lacing effect (which absolutely flourishes when paired with a solvent and a blowtorch!) Throughout each piece, various pigment powders were mixed in with the resin to increase the depth and radiance.

These paintings were made to show gratitude to the soldiers who embody strength, determination, courage, and Valor during their service. I hope bits of their own past service can be found in these paintings while following a path of healing from the trauma that often takes grip after a tour or deployment. I attempted to acknowledge the difficult aspects of serving  in the military while creating an overall positive image because-darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.