Which came first -- the artist or the rebel?
In the case of artist Lindsay Peyton, it took a teenager's rebellious attitude to introduce her to art. In junior high, she was kicked out of band class for her "bad attitude." So, in high school, she made the switch to art for her elective - and never looked back.
Now with dozens of shows on her resume, and years spent honing her craft, Peyton is back with a new show and new work. And she still has that rebellious streak.
Peyton will be showing her new paintings at the upcoming show "Pocket Universe," slated for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 at Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter Street, 77007. The group exhibit will also feature paintings by local artists Justin Dunford and Ian Anderson.
She will also have paintings on display at the John Cooper School Fine Arts Festival on the same day. The campus is located at 1 John Cooper School Dr.
Once she wraps up the two shows, Peyton will head to Nebraska for a residency at the Art Farm.
Mitch Cohen, a Houston artist, curator and founder of First Saturday Arts Market, has both worked with Peyton at a number shows. "From the first time I met Lindsay, she obviously did things differently," he said. "She's a steel trap unless you ask her the right questions, so it is always a great surprise when she announces a new art show-- and then to see how well she pulls it off is just amazing."
He said that Peyton is a unique character on the Houston art scene. "Lindsay certainly does things her own way, that is for sure -- from painting on plywood instead of canvas to living in her studio," he said. "Her art though is clearly her own -- and has a style that is obviously hers too. That is very important for collectors. Even as her painting skills develop and change, I can still spot one of her paintings."
Non-conformist may be a better description, Cohen said, doing things on her schedule, the way she wants. Peyton maintains studios both in Montgomery, just north of Houston, and Seattle. Her current focus is using oil paint to explore interior spaces.
A Houston native, Peyton is a photojournalism graduate of UT- Austin and principal of Cadence Enterprise, a creative services firm. Peyton is also curating the "Pocket Universe" exhibit.
A summer 2013 residency in the Paducah (KY) Artist in Residency program as well as a solo show at Winter Street Studios Gallery and a group show at Pictures Plus Gallery in Houston last fall are among her most recent endeavors. Her art has been on display in recent years in Houston's most popular art venues, including Spring Street Studios, Betz Art Gallery and Canal Street Gallery.
Peyton said she fell in love with oil painting early on in high school - and took an interest in darkroom photography her senior year.
"I think that doing photography helped hone my eye," she said. "But my first love has always been oil painting. I started in high school and took darkroom photography my senior year and really enjoyed it, but never on the same level. I do enjoy photography, but digital doesn't do it for me so unless it's in a darkroom, I don't see myself going back."
Peyton strives to create paintings that convey multiple experiences - or a number of emotions - on one canvas. "I'm mainly inspired by experiences in my life and how they made me feel on several levels," she said. "I like exploring the idea that one person can feel several ways about one thing and that we're not one dimensional. People don't just feel sad; we're a mix of lots of different things. Trying to take a portrait or landscape or even a still life and put several different emotions into it is a challenge."
Also challenging is maintaining two studios 2,400-miles apart. "I've learned to juggle a lot," she said with a laugh.
Help is always good and that comes in the form of her assistant director Chance Hunter at Cadence Enterprise and fellow artist and frequent collaborator Justin Dunford. "Justin is a fantastic artist - but he's also one of the best installation expert and art handlers in the city," she said. "He will help hang the Pocket Universe show."
Why stretch oneself like that?
"I definitely want to expand my market, with my art and also with my creative service business, Cadence Enterprise," Peyton said. "I feel like it's important to try new and different things, to be open to new experiences. That's something that feeds my creativity. For me, travel is a big inspiration -- seeing different sites, meeting new people regardless of where I am is important."
Perhaps it's a bit of that rebellious spirit.