Escape into impressions of sea, mind

Katie Kowalski,
Posted 12/20/16

The external landscapes of nature are placed alongside the internal landscapes of the mind in “Seascape Mindscape” – an exhibit by local artist Andrea K. Lawson.

“One is about our …

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Escape into impressions of sea, mind


The external landscapes of nature are placed alongside the internal landscapes of the mind in “Seascape Mindscape” – an exhibit by local artist Andrea K. Lawson.

“One is about our environment around us, and the other one is inside of us,” Lawson said of the two series of paintings – the acrylic “mindscapes” and the oil “seascapes” on display at Pippa’s Real Tea through the end of December.

Lawson said she is donating 50 percent of the sales from her art to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe DAPL Donation Fund to continue protecting water and people, an issue to which she feels her show is connected.

“If we want to have our seascapes, or landscapes, we need to fight to preserve them,” she said. “And we can use our mind to understand what we have to do.

“We have the ability to destroy – and protect and help each other –with our minds.”


Lawson’s “seascape” paintings were inspired by local views of the Olympic Peninsula’s bays, oceans and skies.

“I love nature, so I’m in nature when I’m painting,” Lawson said.

“Once I start applying the paint to the canvas, there’s sort of a rhythm – like I’m responding to my environment.”

Since the landscape is constantly changing, Lawson said, she has to continually balance those transformations with what she has already painted on her canvas.

“It’s a dance of what I started out with and what I’m seeing now,” she said.

For example, when she’s painting a sunrise, the sky changes every second.

When Lawson starts her work, perhaps a rich, pink line may be running across the sky. While Lawson is reproducing the colors on her canvas, a purple cloud may form, at which point, Lawson said, she’ll begin that balancing act: deciding whether to add the new development in the sky, or keep her image representing the moment she started, without the cloud.

It’s both intellectual and intuitive, she said, like a musician who knows a piece intimately, but improvises or changes while performing.

“I’m just in the moment with the paint,” Lawson said.


Integrating art and science, Lawson’s “Brain Beauty” series – the “mindscapes” of her show – depicts colorful, abstract representations of the human brain at different levels of magnification.

Lawson was recently awarded a public art commission to create science-related artwork for the Sno-Isles Libraries’ Camano Island Library reading room, located in Island County.

That prompted Lawson’s research and interest in the varied forms of our bodies – especially the brain.

“I got really into it – it was really fun,” Lawson said of the process. She began by looking at different images of the brain, which themselves looked like abstract paintings, she said.

She represented these abstractions across nine painted panels, using different types of acrylic paint, one of which provided an “interesting drizzly medium” that worked well for creating skinny neurons, and brought action to her art.

A smaller prototype of the public art piece is on display at Pippa’s, along with individual panels. Pippa’s Real Tea is located at 636 Water St., in downtown Port Townsend. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. For more information about Lawson’s art, visit


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