Art that connects Spirit and Nature
I use common subject matter to describe and celebrate the things that make us uniquely wired for divine connection: sweet things like curiosity, wonderment, innocence, desire, freedom and joy…but also grief, pain and suffering.
My paintings and dimensional mixed media pieces are rendered in bright, saturated colors that create sort of a hyper-reality; often playful, infused with humor, wit, and hidden narrative. My figurative subjects and scenes are borrowed from my personal experiences, and rendered in a believably familiar, realistic style. I also love to explore ambiguous lighting, strange juxtaposition of subject matter, and dreamily ethereal settings inspired by the Surrealist traditions of Magritte and Dali. Interestingly, though my paintings and fine art work stand in firm rebellion to the years I spent as a professional graphic designer, it can’t also help but reflect the sense of order, purpose, desire to communicate, and importance of content inherent in the designers’ craft.
The central theme of my work is that of transformation— art that declares a sense of renewal through “creative re-making”! Born from the ashes of personal defeat and weariness of struggle, my art reflects the idea that no matter how unraveled, unremarkable, beaten, burnt, turned-out, and turned-down a person or object is, there IS an up side—a new life—that can occur in the hands of the Creator. It’s why pieces of discarded and lightening-scorched wood get a chance at a new, beautiful and crazy existence in my mixed media pieces. And it’s why in my paintings, peppers dance, cabbages sing, children reign, and old men become young again…and fly.
Lawrence Jolly was born in London, England, has lived in Germany, Florida, Mississippi, San Antonio, and now resides in Austin, Texas—home for over 30 years. The oldest son of an Air Force officer and itinerant Baptist preacher from the deep South, Lawrence experienced at an early age the diversity and dissonance of living as a free-spirited creative under authoritarian rule in disparate parts of the world. In ways that would later inform his work as well as pivotal relationships, his background was characterized by struggle, rebellion, self-awareness and finally acceptance. A lifelong student of art, he achieved a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a concentration in Design from the University of Texas in 1981. There he studied under designers Arthur Eisenberg, Ed Triggs and Mike Hicks; Illustrators, Ed Lindlof, Alex Murowski, and Larry McIntire; and renowned fine artists and sculptors, David Deming and Charles Umlauf. His first interests lay in commercial illustration, but at some point in his studies he realized he could control more of the creative outcome—and income—as a designer and art director, and so was born his career as a design professional. He started his own firm, Jolly Design, in 1985, and became recognized as one of the top design firms in Austin, enjoying a reputation as a dynamic creative resource for many local and national companies. After marrying and helping raise three wonderful kids while spending 28 years as a successful creative business owner, Lawrence decided to pursue a life-long dream of painting again. Partly the unexpected but fortuitous confluence of a recession and personal loss, and while gratefully continuing the work of his design firm, a leaner and cleaner artist emerged to explore his creative chops.
Today, the fine art of Lawrence Jolly is being displayed in numerous shows and exhibits throughout Austin, Central Texas, and across the country. Best described as contemporary realism, and influenced by surrealists like Dali, Magritte, Ernst and Tanguy, every piece is an allegory imbued with exuberant use of color and highly rendered elements. Lawrence works primarily in oils on canvas, but some of his most daring and visually stunning work is seen in his mixed media pieces combining painted elements with re-purposed wood, found objects, computer components, and furniture. To this end, his shop skills are put to good use in developing beautifully crafted dimensional pieces. Jolly has spent the better part of the last four years honing his painting skills, exploring various themes, and working under gifted masters such as Austin realist, Jon Eric Narum, English artist Edward Povey and Thomas Darnell of St. Valiere, France. He is currently seeking gallery or dealer representation, with a keen interest in developing greater awareness of his work through expanded markets and new relationships.