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Art & Life with Lora Barnhiser

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lora Barnhiser.

Lora, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have always made artwork for myself and family since high school. I even went to college to study Fine Arts. A few years ago, I had been going through a difficult time. In order to cope, my art-production level increased significantly.

We had lots of artwork piling up around the house so a friend suggested that I begin selling it. In the Fall of 2014, I was accepted as a vendor at the Phoenix Flea. I took my work (which has changed dramatically since then) and was much more successful than I thought I would be.

At the time, I was working with leftover scraps of leather to make pendants and small accessories. After a while, I had been craving to incorporate some drawing and painting. I purchased a wood burning tool so that I could draw/ burn images into the leather. At nearly the same time, I was informed of a furniture factory throwing out scraps of wood. One day, I collected a handful of wood scraps to experiment with wood burning on wood. After I realized I could also add watercolor, I have never looked back.

ReGrain Studio was born based on the idea of reusing old scrap pieces of wood for artwork.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I primarily use recycled, reused or rescued scraps of wood. I enjoy saving them from a landfill and also take pleasure in figuring out how to use each piece. It’s as though each scrap presents itself with its own little challenge of shape and size. Sometimes there are knots or blemishes to take into account. I love this little impurities, it makes each piece unique.

I often paint southwest images, cacti etc. My customers like them so I keep making them. I also occasionally offer pet portraits working from photographs that people send me.

I most enjoy painting in abstract on the wood pieces. This is when I feel my work most reflects my personality and takes on more of a fine-art less of a “decor” demeanor. Some of my abstract pieces have been shown in Central Phoenix at a gallery or two.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
There are loads of meet-ups, happy hours and gallery events in this city. Be brave, go meet people. I have yet to meet an unfriendly artist or creator in my experience as an artist local to Phoenix. Everyone has been supportive.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I have some work at Ruby Mint General on McDowel Ave. in Phoenix, as well as MADE Art Boutique on Roosevelt Row.

You can find me on Instagram @regrain.studio which I update most often.

My website is regrainstudio.com.

I am currently only working from requests. Email lora@regrainstudio.com for inquiries.

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