By: Stacy Keith
Around the holidays, I was scrolling through Instagram and caught sight of artwork which really struck me. I wasn’t familiar with this Lubbock artist, so I continued to look through her feed. Everything she posted had shots of incredibly vibrant colors with a boldness that also seemed unusual to me. So, I reached out and the conversation that I had with this new but incredible talent was just as moving and striking as the art she creates.
Peyton Scott began painting during the initial shutdown due to COVID-19 in May 2020. However, boredom was not the reason she began to paint, it can largely be attributed to need. A Lubbock native, Peyton had a horrific childhood. Living with parents who not only struggled with substance abuse and mental illness, but who also translated their struggles to their children resulting in a dysfunctional and traumatic childhood for them all.
After high school, Peyton was headed down a road of her own self destruction when she learned that she was expecting a child. This was not just a turning point for her life, but a full throttle jump on a new track type of realization. She decided that her son would not have the type of childhood she had and most importantly that she would do everything in her power to be a good parent.
Peyton focused herself on school and was set on a track to success – earning not only a Human Development degree from Texas Tech University, but also a master’s degree from Lubbock Christian University in Human Service. She currently works in the Student Affairs Office at the university and is passionate about the impact she’s able to make in the lives of students. Prior to working in higher education, she worked for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, investigating child abuse and neglect in foster and daycare systems. She was determined, long before painting, that she would do everything in her power to be an advocate for children. Peyton loves travelling and is working on the trauma she has endured with a supportive therapist. Her life was together, and she had a wonderful son, but the internal struggles persisted from her youth.
It was during the time of seclusion during the 2020 closures that the internal pain began to rear its head and Peyton sought to find an outlet. She found a canvas and some watercolors and began to paint. As she did, she realized that it helped her cope. She would paint three or four hours a day to express her story. She quickly realized that watercolor was not the right medium for her and moved to acrylics. She also had the realization that she wanted to paint larger pieces on big canvases. This method allowed her more ability to express the bold rawness she felt. The loss, the sadness and the anger came out on the canvas. But, what is interesting about her work is that the viewer may not see what Peyton does. Each canvas tells a story, heals a wound, or fights a battle. Each canvas has a name – often based on music lyrics she is listening to as she works. “Let Me Go” (pictured with Peyton), “Daydreams of Home I & II” (pictured), “Wear Me Out” and “After Dark” are some of names her artwork bear.
As Peyton developed in her painting, friends took notice and encouraged her to begin to post her work online and display her work throughout Lubbock. She can be seen at Two Docs Brewing Co. and can be found on Instagram at @peytonleighart. In her Instagram posts, she began creating a narrative around her pieces and people began connecting to it. Further validation of her work when Peyton was chosen by a handful of curators and gallery owners to be featured in the 2022 edition of the Art Folio contemporary art table book. Her paintings grace walls and homes in New York, Maine, Utah, Florida, New Mexico, Chicago and Arkansas, though it’s not always easy for her to let them go. Peyton paints as an outlet and each painting is a part of her story. She explained to me that the process was like letting a piece of herself go each time one has sold.
Peyton’s story is a tapestry of abuse, pain and the daily struggle of healing woven together to create a message for others who may be suffering. It is a reminder that help is available, and healing is possible, though it’s a constant journey. She wants to encourage others through her artwork and make the world a more beautiful place where healing can begin.
To learn more about Peyton, her art and her voyage, you can find her Instagram at @peytonleighart. She is an artist to admire and watch.
**In Honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month for April – I share Peyton’s story.