|"Normal people get lost in reality and can't escape, but I escape every day." -Lindsey Bailey
Visual artist Lindsey Bailey believes that everyone should let his or her imagination run wild, something she does when she creates her wonderfully colorful and imaginative paintings which she calls "children-themed, adult art."
A casual observer might indeed think that the Texas-born painter has borrowed children's original crayon drawings from a teacher and copied them onto her own medium. The keen observer will see, however, that the drawings are much more complicated than that.
"The subject matter of the art I am doing now is based on children and how their minds work," Lindsey explains. "Sometimes I do use pictures from children and recreate them as the central point of the painting, but more often I use my own imagination to create a child-like drawing and then surround it with other designs."
Bailey says she finds patterns any number of places and copied them as background to her drawings. She used all kinds of surfaces, including cardboard, plastic, metal, canvas and brick, painting mostly with acrylics. One of her more interesting mediums is old linens, which she will paint over but leave some of the original design intact for an interesting focal point.
"I've been a babysitter since I was 13, and I've taught art to children since 1996," Bailey says when asked where she gets her ideas for the artwork. "I also do random things like going to the park with my dog and watching kids play, or working at summer camp and observing them and listening to what they have to say. Kids have a great imagination that adults don't have and I wish they would never lose it."
Bailey has been painting this particular style of art since September of 2002. She had been searching for a new avenue for her art, but had not found anything she was happy with. "I just thought I'd try to sketch but nothing would come to me," she says. "Then one day I painted this pink background and I thought to myself 'I'm just gonna put a child's figure on here.' Then I had a show and the gallery put that particular painting in prime space and I knew then I'd found my new direction."
In addition to painting art from her own imagination to sell, Bailey will work with a child and his or her parents to make a painting from something the child has created.
I meet with the child and might ask them to draw something for me. I try to get them involved in the process," Bailey says. "Then I may use part of their picture for the painting that will eventually go in their room. I really want the child's imagination to come through, and I try to make sure it is theirs' and not the parents' ideas that they are drawing. I've seen entire rooms decorated around one of these paintings and it's really neat because the child had a great amount of input into the way his or her room was to be decorated."
Bailey's philosophy on art is simple. "Art should ask questions constantl about societ and the world we live in. I think sometimes those questions should push buttons. I think there sould be an alowance for change in the direction the artist is taking and it should be an allowance for change in the direction the artist is taking and it should inspire and change the world.
"There should be motivation in te painting for the viewer and it should evoke a feeling from the viewer - either negative or positive. I think art should also be viewed as a teaching tool, as basic as teaching color choices, to teaching about the environment and beliefs.
"I don't like to explain my art because it takes away from the viewer coming up with his or her own story to go with the painting."
Bailey moved to Nashville from Austin, Texas in February 2001. Having recently finished studying at the University of Texas, she quickly became involved in Nashville's creative arts community, serving on the board of the Visual Arts Alliance of Nashville for two years. She has taught art at the creative Fitness Center, Madison Art Center, and the Green Hills YMCA. She has volunteered at the Frist Center, donated work to several local charity events, and is currently the Fine Arts Editor for sesored.com magazine. When Bailey isn't painting she spends "countless hours managing, brainstorming, and screen printing" for her latest artistic endeavor: Buttercube, a little arts company (buttercube.com).
Bailey's art has been shown previously in the Nashville area at Madison Art Center, Plowhaus Gallery, Loews Vanderbilt, Art and Invention Gallery, Cummins Station, Palmer Place, Rumours Gallery, Blue Sky Court and Watkins College of Art and Design. In Texas she was presented at the Flood Gallery and New Gallery in Austin, and galleries in San Angelo.