Lyon, a Southwest Colorado native, who lives and works at the Buffalo Woman’s Ranch in Dove Creek, recently talked with the Mancos Times about her generational ties to Mancos Valley, finding her rhythm in the medium of painting. She also tells how she met Taj Mahal, who has worked with legend Ry Cooder and The Rolling Stones. He also wrote the film score for the movie “Sounder,” starring Cicely Tyson.
Question: How long have you lived in Dove Creek? Where are you from originally?
Answer: Well, I’m really excited to be showing in Mancos, because my grandfather was actually born there. My family goes back seven generations to Telluride, Rico, this whole area really. It’s been a blessing to be able to grow up here.
Q: How long have you been painting?
A: I started in 2005. About that time, I did a big, huge shift with my life. I’m a singer/songwriter, and was doing music. I went to one lesson with a friend who was teaching in Carbondale and I remember him telling me, ‘Girl, get out of the way of your canvas and easel and don’t think’. So I just took the pallet knife, went across the canvas with a bunch of oil… when he said get out of the way I did ... Eventually I gave up singing shifted into art. It’s been a wonderful transition.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Well it’s very thick layers of oil paint, and all pallet knife. I rarely use brushes. My heart just goes to the mountains and pure waters, and often there’s political statements. Each painting represents something going on in the world today, be it a train or a beautiful bed of water and field. When Rena (Wilson, local art promoter) came to me and said she want to do a contemporary art show, and that kind of scared me a little... but I started to do things I’ve never done before.
Q: Taj Mahal is your special guest. How did you guys meet?
A: Taj is a friend from the past. My mother met him at the Millwood 30 years ago. ... He’s an invited guest, my friend Valerie Celene gets a big thank-you for getting him here. He won’t be singing, but he’s going to present one original piece that was artwork from his first album and will be for sale. It was done by California artist Anna deLeon, and is wonderful.