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Kristie Barnett: A home that brims with creativity

Lynda Young sought the help of Kristie Barnett, the Decorologist, to update the Brentwood home she shares with her husband, Gary, a prolific landscape and still life painter.

I first met Gary and Lynda Young in the fall of 2012. Lynda Young had been following my design and color articles in The Tennessean for some time and had shared them with her husband, Gary, as they began considering some changes in their Brentwood home. She eventually contacted me to help her choose new paint colors and update the interior of their home.

During my first visit, I found that the Youngs' home was filled with art. There were paintings collected from their favorite artists, as well as Gary Young's own landscapes. I quickly learned that he was a prolific landscape and still life painter. Although some of his paintings hung on the walls, Young's studio and an upstairs storage room were stacked with his work.

The walls of the home were covered in a paint that could best be described as the color of peanut butter. Although this orangey-tan color was very popular 10 years ago, it did absolutely nothing to complement or enhance the art that hung upon it. I knew the best thing I could do for the Youngs was to create a paint color palette for the home that would be the perfect backdrop for the beautiful art, putting the focus on the thing most important to them.

Over the next several months, I helped the Youngs choose new paint colors, update lighting, purchase new rugs, group and hang their art, arrange furniture, style bookcases and stage their accessories. Along the way, I learned more about their story and their lives.

New perspective

Decades ago, Gary Young built a career in medical capital equipment sales and raised a son with his wife. Later, the couple became art enthusiasts and collectors, and Young enjoyed building Windsor chairs as a hobby in his spare time. Young made about 30 Windsor chairs by hand over an 18-year period.

Then 9/11 happened. At the age of 50, Gary Young's perspective on life changed overnight. He realized he was spending time on things that didn't really bring value to life and desired a real change in his own. He began studying Betty Edwards' "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" and completed his first painting at age 51. He and Lynda traveled to Italy in 2002. As they toured the art museums, Young remembers turning to his wife and saying, "I can do this."

Soon after their return, Young began taking workshops from local and national artists, including Roger Dale Brown, Jason Saunders, Scott Christensen and C.W. Mundy, who has become a mentor and a friend. Young now assists Mundy with workshops.

He began to study the fundamental science of art and incorporated that into his everyday life. Now, his art drives everything else in his life and is woven into everything he does. Young says that his art motivates him in other areas of his life, including his sales career, and that it often becomes a relationship-builder with others he encounters.

"I believe we are in a second Renaissance of art in America," Gary Young says. "Some of the greatest artists in human history are alive today but that will only be realized by the masses in retrospect."

Gary Young is an inspiring example of pursuing a dream in the midst of everyday existence, allowing it to complement and enhance one's life and relationships.

"The gift is the desire," he says. "The purpose is not in the painting; it's to live a life of intense meaning."

Learn more

To learn more about Gary Young and his art, visit www.garyyoungstudio.com.

ABOUT

Kristie Barnett is The Decorologist. She is an expert in residential color, staging and decoration and writes about all of those things and more on her blog at www.thedecorologist.com.