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Artists Among Us

Three Strong Local Women Making Beautiful Art

Article by Rochelle Reeder

Photography by Kira Whitney, Lauren Browning, Mindy Warman, Lisa Faherty

Originally published in Colorado Springs Lifestyle

There is a thread of creativity, strength and lifelong-learning in these women. They unapologetically want it all and have structured their lives to accommodate that desire. They have leaned into their strengths. They have found purpose and value in embracing their natural gifts, while honing in on how to grow and thrive in a place that provides them balance. They seek community and to grow and enhance their city of choice.

And they walk among us. 

Lisa Faherty

For years the question has been “Are you right- or left-brained?” What if, instead, the question was “How are you engaging your right or left brain?”

Lisa Faherty has a very left-brained job that she attends to during her day. Her mom is an artist and Faherty remembers making art as a young girl. However, as she got older, responsibilities became the focus and “frivolities” like art were placed on the back burner.

In 2017, Faherty took a class with an acrylic artist which had her dipping her toe back in the artistic waters. That Christmas, her husband gifted her a set of oil paints and she subsequently signed up for a class at Bemis School of Art to utilize those paints. 

“My paintbrush hit the canvas and every cell in my body tingled,” she reminisces.

Faherty had found her balance.

There is a place for busy productivity and there is a place for unwinding and engaging the artistic side of the brain. 

“My role as a painter is a way to share some of the beauty around us that people often forget in the running around,” Faherty explains.    

These days, oil and soft pastels are the mediums Faherty chooses to memorialize the beauty around her. She can often be found around town, painting on-site, and loves the conversations and questions that inevitably arise.  |  @LisaFahertyArt

Laura Weston

Laura Weston has always been creative. Even during her years managing a law office and carrying out paralegal duties, raising children and spending time with her grandchildren, she made time for art. Seeking an activity she could do with her granddaughter, she fell in love with collage. 

“I was looking for a project we could do together; something where I wasn’t the ‘expert,’” she recalls. 

Almost nine years later, her studio is now dedicated to collage, the art of assembling parts of unrelated things to create a new whole. Things that could be perceived as useless or discarded. Weston does not see misfit—she sees light and shadow, color and pattern. She sees flowers, mountains, and trees. 

At first glance, the viewer sees landscapes with valleys and snowy peaks. They see tablecloths and vases with vivid flower arrangements. And then they come closer. Plaid or gingham patterns materialize on a mountain side. Is that a word hidden on the tablecloth?

“It’s just paper,” she states. And the word “just” seems overly simplistic in that explanation. 

But, it is paper. And it has been torn from the whole and placed in a way that creates new perspective and purpose. What was a dark patterned piece of paper is now a shadow. What was once a photo of a rug in a magazine is now an integral part of a table runner. What was once flat and two-dimensional now creates movement and highlights. 

What a noble calling to be able to give purpose and new beauty to a thing. To take something torn and discarded and give it life. 

Lauren Browning

After the pandemic, when many jobs were taken remote, Lauren Browning and her husband saw an opportunity to relocate to the mountains. They checked out a few places, fell in love with Colorado Springs and decided to make it home. 

Browning remembers always drawing and coloring as a child and chose to further her art education while in college. She went to sign up for a drawing class, but finding they were all full, she settled on painting. Her artistic nature translated easily, but more than that, infused the opportunity for her to create layers within her work.

With her drawing, she focuses on faces and the human form. She appreciates the challenge of finding the small details and the perfect imperfections that capture a person’s essence. It is an exercise in discovery, and it allows her to engage her creative and analytical sides together.   

Her current collection, on display at Ephemera at C.O.A.T.I., blends the artistic and the analytical, beautifully depicting the dichotomy of a strong woman. The paintings boldly portray a woman’s face in various states of thought and being. As the viewer begins to ponder what the subject is thinking, the background fades into view and underlines the layers that inevitably weave together the whole, influencing or directing the desires, beliefs or concerns of the subject.   

“I end up falling in love with each of my subjects,” Browning says.

And it’s easy to see why. |  @Artwork_by_LB

“My paintbrush hit the canvas and every cell in my body tingled.” -Lisa Faherty

“I end up falling in love with each of my subjects.” -Lauren Browning