Two weeks before the opening of her show, Portraits and Cityscapes, painter Lindsay Hand sits at a corner table in her apartment, which doubles as her studio space. Cigarette in hand, she flips through a handful of books laying before her and picks out the inspiring quotes.
"Art is like an airplane," she shares, paraphrasing Ayn Rand. "You don't look at the airplane and talk about it. You get on it and go somewhere."
The metaphor is readily illustrated on the floor beside Hand, as burgundy airplanes liven the 44-by-58-inch, pistachio-colored canvas of a painting. In it, 3-inch-tall birds hang upside down on what look like telephone poles; the painting captures a view of the sky that you might see while lying in someone's backyard.
Hand says painting satisfies a need she has to reach a certain natural, psychological state one that she says is also achieved by viewing great art.
Others seem to get a similar feeling from Hand's work. Locally, she's sold paintings to Alexius Weston, owner of Shuga's, where Hand works part time. She's also painted tables for the newly opened COPPeR office and for local architect Michael Collins, among others.
Come August, the 25-year-old Hand, a Colorado Springs native, will leave for the Savannah (Ga.) College of Art and Design. She considers Portraits and Cityscapes a farewell. It will include portraits of people in the Springs with whom she has connected, like Kellie Palmblad of Springs-based band Eyes Caught Fire, as well as poet and musician Chris Bullock.
Those two portraits in particular show Hand's ability to paint in different styles. In Bullock's, Hand has translated his body language into a flat image. In Palmblad's, the singer's face fills the approximately 2-by-2-foot canvas; her skin looks palpable.
The paintings display talent, but Hand insists that she's not aiming for notoriety. She's more dedicated to the process of painting and how it transports her to a different state of awareness.
"I've learned to tap into my muse," she says, "and let the energy take me."