Lexie Armstrong is a painter who lives in Franklin, TN. Having travelled and studied abroad extensively, she has settled with her family on a horse farm in Tennessee where she paints as well as raises her three boys with her husband, James, chickens and horses and works in her organic garden. In addition to observing and recording the local flora and fauna around the farm and in her garden, this series reflects farm life interacting with the “wildlife” of Tennessee in a whimsical way.
She has also been working on another series that reflects her past travels and city life with Baroque illusionistic architecture in her "Ceiling" paintings, but the influence of the farm has begun to appear in her new works. Observing the dramatic way life is balanced between the "farm teams" of wild animals versus the domesticated "pets" is fascinating to her. She has created a series that reflects the beauty of the flowers of her garden, to the creatures that inhabit the farm in a fun and unconventional way.
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.