Lexie lives in Nashville with her husband, James, three sons, Crew, Thomas and George, dog Stella and several horses. She graduated form Dartmouth College and received a Masters in Fine Art from American University in Washington, DC. Along with horse and dog painting commissions, Lexie’s work includes landscapes from her travels to Cuba, Italy, France and South Africa. Her primary focus is a series of paintings that relate to Baroque ceiling frescoes. She has exhibited in DC, New York, Maryland, Florida and Tennessee.
ANIMAL PORTRAITS AND LANDSCAPES
I have always been a passionate animal lover. When I was a child, I always begged for a dog and dreamed of horses. Coming from a fanatical car loving family in Detroit, I got a dog, horses were not really an option. I found the game of polo after college and became addicted to playing a team sport on horseback. When I eventually met and married my husband, a South African polo professional, my dreams of owning a farm with horses came true. We also travel to his native home in Kwa-Zulu Natal almost yearly, and are fortunate to have experienced many photographic safaris. The landscape of South Africa is diverse and the light and space, magical. All of my work, animal portrait, landscape or ceiling painting, always has a breathable space within.
In the meantime, I love capturing the personality of each dog or horse and love capturing the speed and movement of polo. Every year I do the artwork for a special polo charity event, Chukkers for Charity, which benefits a therapeudic riding program for kids with disabilities just down the road from our farm.
I spent some time in Italy teaching printmaking after completing my masters degree and fell in love with the light and color of the landscape there as well as the multitude of ceiling frescoes that adorn the plethora of churches. This furthered my passion for illusionistic architecture and inspired a series that I have been working on for a long time.
The illusionism in my work originates with Baroque and Rococo ceiling painting. I begin with the concept of the quadro reportato, the wall painting transferred to the ceiling, and turn it inside out. Taking the deep illusionistic perspective of baroque ceiling frescoes, as in Pozzo and Tiepolo’s illusions of eternity and infinity, I then bring the painting back to earth, returning it to the wall. Turning the canvas as I paint, I look toward an infinite center, making marks and removing them, as the structure crumbles and is rebuilt again. The painting process for me, mirrors our daily walk through life, our clumsy attempts to climb higher and the inevitable falls we take, often forgetting the truth is always there. Eliciting the dizzying feeling one gets when looking up at the monumental architecture of the baroque period, I strive to show the struggles we face, whether serious or trivial, as we navigate and circumvent a space in life that always has at its core an infinite and everlasting center.