Jen Lashua’s paintings took on a whole new life when she was asked to create pieces to honor the deaths of loved ones. For Jen, painting is more about what goes into a canvas rather than what is brushed or poured onto it. Always looking for ways to make her art more unique and interactive, she delights customers by adding fragrant, healing essential oils to her paintings. When she was asked to create a family keepsake with a loved one’s ashes, she was so inspired that she started a Sacred Heart Collection. Read on to learn how her personalized art helps families cope with grief and loss.
1847 Magazine: What’s the name and location of your business?
Jen Lashua: Jen Lashua Art in Vermont.
1847: What services do you offer?
JL: Fluid art for interior design and healing art for my Sacred Heart Collection.
1847: What was the inspiration for your business?
JL: The foundation for my art business comes from my passion for creating colorful, beautiful things.
1847: What is your pour painting technique?
JL: Fluid art is highly pigmented paints that create rich colored glazes, color diffusion, and marbleized effects. Acrylic paint is mixed with specific mediums that make paint very fluid. No paint brushes are used, so the fluid paint is poured directly on the canvas or wood and the use of gravity is implored.
1847: What is unique about your art?
JL: My background as a certified color aroma therapist brings a unique aspect to my paintings.
1847: Why do you add essential oils to some of your pieces?
JL: I enjoy creating art that is harmonious and healing on many levels. The health benefits and energetic qualities of essential oils are very interesting to me and to others as well. I wanted to have my art be more interactive — not just in a visual sense — but also to include aromatic qualities.
1847: When did you start working on legacy pieces to honor loved ones?
JL: I was approached by a client last summer to see if I could be willing to create a fluid art piece with her father’s ashes. She wanted it for a birthday gift for her mother. I thought it was an amazing opportunity, so we chatted about colors and I decided to blend both a favorite color of the father and mother as a base color for the piece. I also chose a heart-shaped piece to represent love for family and the father, and embellished it with gemstones, rose quartz and 24 Karat gold leafing.
1847: Was it difficult to add the ashes to this artwork?
JL: At first, I wasn’t sure how to incorporate the father’s ashes into the piece. I had heard of people designing jewelry with crematory ashes, but never in the artwork. I did research about how to use ash with fluid paint and resin and reached out to my painting group friends, but no one had done this before. Ultimately, I took a deep breath and decided to trust my instincts!
1847: What are families looking to achieve with legacy artwork?
JL: Families want to have a beautiful, physical piece of art that will continue as a remembrance of the loved one who has passed away.
1847: Do you believe your artwork helps alleviate the grieving process after the death of a loved one?
JL: Absolutely! My clients tell me these pieces are very healing and a lovely reflection of their loved one. I find it very healing not only for the client or family but for myself as well. I put the utmost care and love into each piece and can feel an infinite connection when I’m doing this type of work. It’s an incredible honor!
1847: How can people learn more about your business if they are interested in these keepsakes?
JL: You can visit my website at www.jenlashua.com and follow me on Instagram for my most current creations @jenlashuaart.