The rest is in the pages of Common Good.

subscribe

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Can You Resist Screens with Art? Look into This Atlanta Painter’s Studio

What longing for wholeness looks like.

“That’s a fundamental disposition I have in my life — to receive the world as sacrament and the universe as parish.”

Cameron Alexander Lawrence

He returned to painting as a balm. His interest started with his grandmother, his father’s mom and a studio painter. She showed him a path and it wound from childhood, through college, all the way to his kitchen table, where he sat a couple of years ago and began to “push some paints around on some paper” again.

Now Cameron Alexander Lawrence’s oeuvre includes 150 works, abstract paintings that the Atlanta-based painter and poet sells directly to individual collectors or that you’re likely to see in an arts journal.

These paintings (pictured right: “Analog Spring” and “Emotional Data”) are part of Lawrence’s “reflection on — and resistance to — an over-reliance on mediated experiences of life, usually through one screen or another,” he told me. And, “they’re also in reaction to the glorification of data as a means of understanding the world.”

Lawrence’s home studio space with works in progress and “Emotional Data” 2020

These two share the ethos of Lawrence’s other studio work: expressions of his aim for wholeness, both in his person and with how he connects to the world around him.

“The art means something because it’s a representation of bringing my existence into the space of the studio and everything that means as a husband, a father. My faith in Christ, my life as an Orthodox Christian, I carry that with me into the studio.”

The balm he needed for what you could call creative burnout. Starting around 2014, Lawrence has published about a dozen poems a year in literary journals and magazines around the country. And for about three years between 2015 and 2018, Lawrence and a fellow poet wrote an original poem, or part of one, every day, and every day exchanged them. By the time he wrote a manuscript’s worth of poems, Lawrence reached exhaustion, and that pushed him into the studio.

It’s a space where he can do something for others, sure, but also a place where he can receive: “Being Orthodox, there is a prioritization of mystery in the life of faith and a sacramental perspective on things, even outside of the liturgical sacraments themselves,” he says. “That’s a fundamental disposition I have in my life — to receive the world as sacrament and the universe as parish.”

“Analog Spring” 2020Acrylic, oil pastel, charcoal, and collage on canvas 18 x 14 inches
No items found.

Heading 1 - Section 2

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat

H2 - What’s a Rich Text element?

h4 BOLD - Static and dynamic content editing

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat

H2 Bold - What’s a Rich Text element?

h4 - Static and dynamic content editing

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat

H6 What’s a Rich Text element? Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

H3 - What’s a Rich Text element?

h5 bold - How to customize formatting for each rich text

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat

H3 Bold - What’s a Rich Text element?

h5 - How to customize formatting for each rich text

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat

H6 What’s a Rich Text element? Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

This story is from Common Good issue
04.
Related Articles
  
All Articles >>>
No items found.
good things come to
those in print

Scrolling works but it doesn't compare to that real-life, ink-and-paper feel.

No one said the conversations that matter should be easy. And no one said you have to enter them alone.