Sometimes it is astounding the amount of talent lurking in the small town of Oakdale. Such is the case with Lacy Knudson.
At first glance, the 27-year-old Big Bear native is a devoted wife and mother who is strong in her faith with a straight-forward yet kind disposition, who came with her husband to Oakdale last year when her engineer spouse found employment in the Cowboy Capital.
But to look a little deeper, you would find a woman who houses a whole lot of talent in that lean frame, a quick and ready mind filled with a rich and varied imagination, and someone who is bound to go places if given the right circumstances.
The San Jose State graduate is a muralist who has worked shoulder to shoulder with major talent, most notably, the muralist John Pugh, whom she happened to obtain an internship with during her senior year in college.
“I had to get an internship to graduate so I brought my portfolio to John Pugh. He liked me and hired me,” Knudson said. “He was definitely one of my big mentors. I learned a lot about how I could make it work as a muralist.”
But it wasn’t a walk in the park. Pugh was known for burning out interns with his frenetic pace and odd working style
“He’s an amazing artist but he would work people really hard,” she said.
Thankfully, Knudson didn’t scare easily. Her determination won his respect and soon she was working by his side, helping to create a 100-foot high mural in Hawaii. Since then, she’s worked on murals in Alaska and California for doctor’s offices, hospitals and clinics but she’s really hoping to land more international work, even though it will take her away from her family for stretches of time.
She does do residential murals and enjoys being able to work on something locally, but in this economy she realizes that not everyone has the extra cash for a mural so she’s returning to what she always envisioned as her true calling.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but I was being a mommy. I think I can do both,” she said of being a working mom. “The murals are labor-intensive, it’s not all fluff and bunnies. But creative work is so rewarding. I’ve been sending out my portfolio for international projects. I’m nervous but I have my fingers crossed.”
For Knudson, even as a child, art was in her heart.
“I used to pretend I was sick so I could stay home and draw,” Knudson said, smiling. “Being able to create something is inspiring. With anything that someone is creating, there is something really compelling about creation.”
As to be expected, Knudson’s home reflects her passion for color and life. Her walls are ablaze with warm and vibrant splashes of purple, green, and Tuscan orange in a blend of styles that on paper might seem odd but she makes it work. In fact, it’s easy to see how less confident hands might make a royal mess of it but Knudson is an artist with vision and that vision doesn’t falter.
“I really felt art was a calling,” she shared. “Heavenly Father gave me a gift and I feel that if I was doing something different it would feel wrong and that I was letting Him down. He gave this gift to me for a reason.”
Examples of Knudson’s work can be viewed at her website: www.beautiful-murals.com.
For more information on custom mural work, call Lacy Knudson at 848-8495.