L.J. Mayers chosen RRAA August Artist of the Month
River Region Art Association, located in Gonzales, has named L.J. Mayers, gourd painter and decorator, as artist of the month for August. RRAA spokesman John Robbins praised Mayers as a true Louisianan; born and raised in Ascension Parish and an active member of River Region Art Association for seven years.
Mayers says he began his art career in 2004 “when I ran across a TV show featuring highly detailed painted gourds and the idea immediately appealed to me. Not long after, I saw an ad in the Mississippi Market Bulletin advertising gourds for sale, bought a couple of dozen and was in business. I saved the seeds from these gourds and now raise my own crop of gourds each year.”
In his designs, Mayers specializes in themes rich in nature, capturing the unique shapes and colors of native Louisiana plants and trees and depicting life-like images of the birds and animals found in our local woods and swamps. Mayers’ gourd painting soon progressed into decorating gourds by engraving and adding texture such as seeds, pea gravel and sand. “Actually,” Mayers says, “my work is a mixture of art, crafts, tole paintings and engraving. It is my hobby, pastime and passion to make a homely gourd into an object of art. My art tends toward realism, and I am inspired by nature’s beauty. Mother Nature is the greatest artist, and I try to mimic her work.”
In the last few years Mayers has branched out into painting, using acrylic and oil paints and colored pencils. Mayers adds, “I am self-taught with a lot of help from my mother and sister who are artists. Gourd decorating and painting on canvas are art forms that satisfy my creative urges to make something beautiful by hand. If observers like my work and compliment me on what I created, I am happy; good words are as good as a sale.”
L.J. Mayer’s decorated gourds and paintings can be viewed during August at the Art Gumbo Center on Magnolia Street in Gonzales and at the River Region Art Gallery in the Gift Shop at Houmas House Plantation in Darrow.