Color Creations
When Talin Lyman (formerly Johnson) majored in art at college, she never pictured herself 40 feet in the air on a cherry picker painting a tropical mural on a building.

But as demand for her artwork increases, she frequently finds herself on scaffolding, she said.

The Hypoluxo resident, formerly of Delray Beach, while still working as a piano teacher, has a line of hand-painted furniture and colorful, tropical fabrics called Lyman Cottage, which was introduced to buyers at the furniture market in High Point, N.C., last fall.

"She's in a league all of her own," said Jim Cameron, sales manager for South Sea Rattan Collection/Fairfax Home in North Carolina.

Although Hurricane Wilma cut into show attendance, her line did well and is expected to be successful, he said.

This isn't Lyman's first venture into fabric design. She has designed fabric and wall coverings for Bill Nessen, owner of Nessen Showroom at the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach for seven years.

Some of the fabrics and murals she has created have been displayed in Architectural Digest, Coastal Living and Florida Design, Nessen said.

Lyman can paint in any style, but her greatest gift is her eye for color, he said.

"She's a real talent and her artwork is very innovative," he said.

Lyman, 42, was commissioned to paint a mural that adorns a wall in the winter home of former Vice President Dan Quayle, and her artwork can be seen throughout South Florida in commercial and residential spaces.

She painted a huge mural on Mack's Groves in Orlando. A store across the street liked the look so much that the owners hired her to paint their's, too, Lyman said.

In Delray Beach, she has painted for Snappy Turtle, Paradise Salon Café and Spa and Ironwood Properties. SHe also paints rugs and rug coverings, clothing and glassware.

Barbara Lentz, an art gallery owner in Boynton Beach, has represented Lyman for two years.

"She is one of the most talented artists I've ever known," said Lentz, who owns Art-Sea Living and Art-Sea Studio. "Talent and personality is a great combination."

Lyman moved to Delray Beach after graduating from Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. She said the friends she made introduced her to people in the design world and supported her in art shows and gallery openings. But the life of an artist hasn't been easy. She may get a lot of work one month but nothing for the next six.

"I live on faith every month," she said. "Starving artists is a cliché for a reason. You must love it if you do it."

Living in Florida has been an inspiration to her, and she thinks people forget how beautiful it is. Walking inspires her, she said, while color makes her happy, and she thinks it affects others as well.

Kay Johnson, head of St. Joseph's Episcopal School, said Lyman accompanies the vocal program for grades six through eight and gives private lessons to students three days a week.

"It is excellent to have someone of her musical caliber," she said.

During Lyman's free time, and she says there isn't much, she likes to do beadwork with her daughter Annique, 10, a fifth-grader at St. Joseph's, and play with their Shih-Tzu, Button.

She would like to open a store and sell her furniture, fabrics and other creations. She has a web site at


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