She’s young. She’s beautiful. She’s talented. But if you spend any length of time with rising artist, Lori DeYmaz, you immediately sense a humility, a sincerity and a wisdom which defies her age. Having only entered the world of professional art a few years ago, her work is quickly becoming known among designers, collectors and gallery owners alike. Her oversize abstracts are especially compelling.
What’s equally impressive is the fact that she’s mothering three young children in the midst of her blossoming art career. On her Instagram account you will find pictures of her with paint brush in one hand and a child balanced on her hip with the other. Or her seated on the floor with one leg serving as a stop to keep the baby’s walker from bumping into the canvas as she paints. Any mom with young ones can easily relate!
“Our lives are a blend of beautiful and messy unplanned surprises but when the Master Creator looks at them He sees the picture He had planned all along.”
Amazed by the volume of work she is able to produce while still caring for her children, I invited Lori to my home to talk about how she manages it all. With one child in school, she arrived with two little ones in tow. We settled in the playroom I have set up for my grandkids so we could talk while the children played. While three-year-old Catherine created fashions for Barbie and nine-month-old Pierce played with blocks, we discussed Lori’s passions for both painting and parenting.
She credits her grandmother with encouraging her to pursue her interest in art. “Nonnie”, who Lori says loved art and all things beautiful, always told Lori she should get an art degree. When her beloved grandmother passed away last year after a lengthy illness, Lori painted an abstract in her honor titled “He Came With Healing In His Wings”. Although Lori is a self taught artist and never pursued that art degree, she believes her grandmother’s words planted a seed for her future accomplishments.
Here she and husband, Zack, stand in front of the painting Lori did for this year’s Symphony Designer House in Little Rock. Lori says having access to social media helped jump start her career and definitely increased exposure. She has been commissioned to do paintings for the Nashville Designer House as well as multiple businesses and homes and also displays and sells her work in a gallery she shares with other artists.
Much of Lori’s work has an ethereal and spiritual quality to it. She says often when she paints she thinks of heaven and wonders what it’s like. Several of her pieces remind me of Psalm 19, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech, night after night they reveal knowledge.” Lori says that for her creativity exemplifies who God is.
As a woman of faith, she compares what takes place on the canvas to the unfolding of our lives. Sometimes she loves what she has done with a painting, other times she is disappointed and then there are those surprises she hadn’t necessarily planned which become a beautiful part of the end result. Lori says our lives are a blend of beautiful and messy unplanned surprises but when the Master Creator looks at them He sees the picture He had planned all along.
Here’s the way she phrases it: “So much about painting non figurative art makes me think about the journey of life. You begin, not necessarily knowing what the outcome will be or what steps will be taken to get there. Often times, things look ugly and you want to lie down and give up. You think things will go one way, but unexpectedly they go another. Sometimes, there are remnants on your paintbrush that end up on the canvas and it actually gives it more depth and interest than there would have been had that bit of color not ended up there. It is a process. You can rest assured that if you just keep trying, something beautiful will come out of it!”
Many artists feel that creativity is a form of therapeutic release and can become obsessed with their art. Wanting to glorify God in both her work and family life, Lori asked for prayer at a women’s conference she attended a few years back. The woman who had spoken that day prayed with Lori and told her three things: Number One: Your hands are tools in the hands of God. Number Two: This is not just therapy but it is a part of your walk to freedom. Number Three: You’re never more like your creator than when you create. Those words gave Lori peace to pursue her art wholeheartedly and yet she says she never wants to be more concerned with painting than with parenting and never wants to look back and feel she missed a part of her children’s lives.
“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” -C.S. Lewis
So for now she paints with a child on her hip, or hanging onto her leg or interrupting her creative flow for a diaper change or just needing attention. And she’s alright with that. One of the posts you’ll find on her social media is a quote from C.S. Lewis, “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” She is clear on the distinction that her paintings are temporary and her children are eternal.
Currently her canvases and paints are in the house alongside kids’ paraphernalia and toys. Sometimes the oversized paintings are done in the garage which calls for late nights after the kids are tucked in bed. But she knows they won’t always be this age and stage and she doesn’t want to miss a minute of it so she works around their schedules as best she can.
Future plans include an art room off the garage where what Lori refers to as “all of her art mess” can be contained in one space. In the meantime this mama is doing a great job of creatively blending all of the gifts with which God has blessed her.