As a long time artist in Palm Beach County, Talin Lyman actually started as another type of artist – a piano player.
“I grew up playing piano in a musical family, my dad was a singer. I played in churches and in shopping malls during high school. When other kids were slinging fries at fast food joints for jobs I was playing away at the mall!” she laughs. “But I was always interested in art so in college, I began to take classes. My parents said okay you can switch to art but stay with the music too, and I did.”
Her studies took her to Greece to study fresco techniques as she found her way as an artist. In 1989 she moved to Delray Beach, then to Boynton where she has been supplementing her art with teaching, and at this point sees as many as 250 kids a day. She has been creating and designing for over 25 years, including her internationally acclaimed fabric designs that have been featured in Architectural Digest, Coastal Living, Veranda, Florida Design, international design centers, luxury hotels and more. Her work has also been featured on television on ET Hollywood, and The Martha Stewart Show.
She has traveled to exotic places and takes photos as inspiration for her large scale landscape paintings. A recent mural of life-size palm trees in Jupiter found her on a scaffold, a feat that was challenging for the height and slipperiness in the frequent rain.
“I got the mural through a designer I work within Boca Raton, she had seen my work and recommended me,” she says. “It was a challenge to hold on to the scaffolding while I painted. The whole thing took about two months.”
A recent series was on display at an exhibit at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County in Lake Worth of her “Varietals” collection, uniquely painted flora using layers and layers of different red wine varietals. Wine paintings have a unique patina and style depending on the kind of wine used on French archival watercolor paper. So why the experimental switch?
“I was looking for a totally new direction and challenge,” Talin says in the Cultural Council’s gallery. “I wanted to experiment with sepia as opposed to a full spectrum of color and then thought of using red wine for the shades of tonality. I started doing this 10 years ago and the ones I made back then have not faded at all so I kept at it. The fascinating thing is the different colors from a merlot or a Bordeaux or a pinot, Malbec, red zinfandel. There’s no reason to thin with water. One will give a darker brownish hue, another dries to a more golden like pinot or blush color. It’s a thin medium so I use several layers to deepen the color in areas.”
The paintings of leaves and fronds have a classic look but are made contemporary and unusual with her use of the wine. The sediment in the wine leaves occasional bits on the paintings, adding a textural appeal. The Cultural Council says “although she became well known in the design world for her vibrant tropical colors, the subtle spirit of this collection leaves quite an impact, taking on a unique patina and exhibit a chiaroscuro effect with a modern twist.”
Does Talin drink the wine as she paints with it?
“No absolutely not!” she laughs. “It’s in bottles with brushes and gets bristles in it! I don’t drink the wine I paint with, I keep it all separate, I’m a professional when I work. But I may have some later.”
One large landscape painting on canvas is in the show for contrast, a tropical scene of a lagoon seen through mountains dotted with flowers and palm trees based on a photo and sketches she did in Tahiti.
“I keep a full schedule of balancing my teaching with my travel and my artwork. Some of the students I have had for 29 years! Even though many of them have gone on to professional careers of their own, they still like to take the classes as a social and community event. I am encouraged by doing the large scale murals and want to pursue more of that in the future.”
Her art can be seen at several area galleries including Art Link in London, Paradise Gallery, Heart of Delray, and Artcetera in Delray Beach.
Learn more about the artist at www.talinlyman.com
Talin Lyman’s Art of Lush Landscape, Wine Included