What do an abstract painter, former vocal instructor with a passion for barn wood, and a massage therapist all have in common?
They all will join the crafty throng of Art in the Park vendors for the first time Saturday in Marion Central Park.
As a graphic designer, Lisa Hemphill spends her work hours on projects that require precision and specificity.
But when she paints, it’s on her time and her rules—which are none at all.
“It just me, all me, it’s like me throwing up all over the canvas,” Hemphill said. “It’s a very loose style. I like to say that I’m slopping paint on canvas, but I try to balance paintings as I go. We’ll see how people respond.”
Her acrylic paintings feature a kaleidoscopic palette and interpretive subject matter flowing out of how she is feels when she paints. Sometimes she tries to paint by a random set of rules but inevitably ends up breaking those rules.
“I paint whatever feels good to me,” she said. “Sometimes I don’t have an inkling of what I will paint and I pull an idea out of thin air. Other times I might see some colors, like fall colors on a tree, and I’ll just start with that and see what happens.”
She said everybody sees different things when they look at her paintings. One painting garnered responses of “It’s the Lollipop Guild from the Wizard of Oz” or “Oh that’s like a watermelon,” or “Its peppermint ice cream.”
To Hemphill, this type of painting is a new, personal medium; a form of therapy that helps her unwind and express what lurks in her interior world.
“At work, I mostly do what the customer requests,” Hemphill said. “Sure I get to add little tweaks here and there that I think might be good, and I sometimes get design logos, but I’m usually skirting around their basic ideas.
“With my painting, I’m just doing what makes me feel good. It lets me cut loose. It’s weird. It’s not really my taste. It is totally foreign to me, but it’s fun.”
Watercolor was her first love when she started painting in high school, but she also dabbled in acrylics. She said taking on acrylic painting was a way for her to step out of her comfort zone, learn something new, and stimulate her creative spark.
“I needed something different,” Hemphill said. “I don’t put myself out there much, so it’s terrifying to me to think about setting my paintings up at the park. I hope I get the plague or something. I may be setting myself up for a huge failure but this was just something I wanted to do to get out of the box.”
Former vocal music instructor for USD 408 and USD 410 David Clark has found a rustic way to stay out of trouble during retirement.
In collaboration with his wife, Marsha, and daughter, Jessica King, Clark creates art with a message using repurposed barn wood as a canvas.
“We make some large snowflakes, Christmas trees with writing on them, and signs,” Clark said. “It’s mainly Christmas or fall art. Most of it has a real positive message, and some of it is religious.”
The Clarks began transforming worn-out, weathered things into unique creations when they moved to Iowa, where their daughter lives.
“Jessica calls it ‘Weathered Joy,” Clark said. “It was kind of a hobby for her. She is quite a talented artist.”
King inspired her parents to try their hands at it. Snowflakes the Clarks make approach 24 inch in diameter. Christmas trees are about three feet tall and have words like, “Hope, Faith, and Love” painted in white lettering.
Another unique sign has “Crazy blessed” written with fabric fastened to barn wood.
“At first it was something to do to keep busy,” Clark said. “I get a kick out of it. It is neat to cut out the designs and see what happens. I get a sense of enjoyment and accomplishment out of it, too.”
Patrons Darcie Mashburn’s booth will literally feel her art when they partake in chair massages she will be offering.
“Massage is defiantly a hands-on craft,” Mashburn said. “I’ve had many people tell me that they feel like a heavy weight has been lifted when I finish a massage.”
Focusing on neck, shoulders, and backs all the way down to the hips, a chair massage is meant to relieve stress, she said.
“It’s quite an honor to help people relax,” she said. “It’s actually pretty common for people to fall asleep during a massage.”
She graduated recently from Wellspring School of Allied Health, started working at Panzer Chiropractic Clinic in Hillsboro, and wants to get her name and service out into the community.
She considers massage therapy to be an art of happiness.
“I’ve always had a huge passion for helping people,” she said. “I love seeing people smile. Massages can help uplift peoples moods.”
Mashburn will offer 10 to 30 minute massages at a cost of $1 per minute.