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World is her canvas

MARK HOFMANN I Trib Total Media
Jessica Lotman of Farmington is the July Artist of the Month at the Fayette County Law Library at the Fayette County Courthouse. 07/02/13

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Saturday, July 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

A Farmington woman who has a tendency to take her paint brush to different canvases is the Fayette County Law Library July Artist of the Month.

The enjoyment of art made Jessica Lotman take her hobby to California University of Pennsylvania to study fine art.

“If I was going to school for something, I wanted to go for art,” Lotman said.

During college, she was introduced to different styles and mediums of art that helped influence her hobby and take it to another level: getting paid for what she enjoyed doing.

“I started commission work in college,” Lotman said, adding that, as she produced paintings for friends, word of mouth spread and interested clients started contacting her.

Since graduating in 2008, Lotman has gone on to do more commission work, as well as having her art shown in university shows, charity events, in a Pittsburgh art gallery with a fellow artist friend, and at local events, such as Art on the Yough in Connellsville and Music on the Mountain in Ohiopyle.

Her work can be seen on panels at the caboose welcome center in Connellsville and along the Sheepskin Trail in Dunbar.

But even though some of her public work is on panels, Lotman's style is anything but one-dimensional.

“I paint on found objects,” she said of a style where an artist will find an object such as a hand saw or a bongo drum and use that as a canvas. “I really don't have a theme.”

Lotman, who has about 20 pieces of art on display at the Fayette County Courthouse Law Library, said art is something that expands her comfort zone, forms a challenge and gives her a way to create with her emotions.

“It's not always the subject matter, but the feeling it brings,” Lotman said, adding that she's not one of those artists who can work on a piece for long periods, as a change in mood could change the painting. “It has to be done at that moment.”

One of her favorite pieces on display at the law library is a painting featuring Kokopelli, a flute-playing deity from Native American folklore. The painting of that figure is featured on a bongo drum and titled “Echo.”

As for the future of her art, Lotman considers it a hobby but is driven to paint.

“I enjoy it,” she said. “It gives me a different outlook on things.”

Lotman's work is for sale. Those interested in purchasing her art can do so by contacting her via email at jessicalotman@aol.com or by phone at 724-984-3832.

Lotman's art can be viewed throughout July in the Fayette County Law Library, on the second floor of the courthouse, 61 E. Main St., Uniontown.

Admission is free. The library is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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