by Sheila Julson
Since childhood, Lisa Lampton Allen, of HideoutArt, has harnessed the self-expressive healing power of art to overcome life’s obstacles. As an adult, Lampton Allen was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—a disease not yet recognized while she was growing up during the 1960s. Art became a positive way to channel her pent-up energy.
“If I wasn’t on a bike or running around, I was bouncing around the room,” Lampton Allen reflects. “So my parents put me in an art class. I was interested in art, and my teacher, Linda Porch, introduced me to painting. She showed me lighting, shading and placement. I learned so much from her, and she believed in me and told my mom that she needed to foster my artistic side.”
Lampton Allen went on to a career in fashion merchandising. She worked as senior national training supervisor for Revlon cosmetics, a position that involved travel and relocation to different cities, but Lampton Allen always fell back on art to stay calm and focused. She eventually returned to Oklahoma City to care for her ailing parents. In 2015, she lost her father, Dick, to Parkinson’s disease. Two months later, her sister, Becky, died unexpectedly.
“I needed something that was mine, and I’ve always turned to art as therapy,” Lampton Allen says. She figured others could also find a safe avenue toward release and creative self-expression through art. During that time, she experimented with painting with a trowel instead of a brush; a faster technique that creates different effects in unusual ways, which can be inspirational for beginners.
She became inspired to form HideoutArt, a studio that would showcase her own abstract paintings, as well as serve the community by hosting affordable classes and workshops, events and birthday parties. With financial help from her mother, Ruth, and motivational support from her friend and “chaos coordinator” Stephanie Cricklin, who Lampton Allen says helped with everything from hanging paintings to administrative tasks, she’s set to open HideoutArt’s classes to the public this month. A grand opening is planned for March.
Lampton Allen emphasizes that her creative classes are for everyone, regardless of skill level or personal goals. “Art is art; it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s all about color, movement and fun,” she says. “I see people who are amazed after they finish a project. It’s really therapeutic, since you’re not thinking of any stressors in the world—it’s just you, the colors and the canvas.”
HideoutArt hosts birthday painting parties for kids, where painting supplies are provided, and participants can bring cake and celebratory items. Lampton Allen says she will also book painting parties and private events for adults that include art materials, as well as a bartender and catering for parties up to eight people.
In addition to having her own bold, abstract paintings on display for purchase, Lampton Allen also has a retail component that includes yoga pants and leggings, skirts and accessories printed with her designs. She has an Alkaviva water-filtration system, which provides highly hydrating, ionized water, and refillable one-gallon bags of Alkaviva water will be available for purchase. Customers will also find Can-Tek Labs’ line of cannabidiol hemp oil balms, salves and tinctures, and the Priyana MD line of skin care cleansers, serums and eye creams. In addition, Lampton Allen is offering CooLifting facial cryotherapy, an all-natural procedure that lifts and tightens the skin.
Lampton Allen strives to make fine art accessible and bring the healing aspect of art to all. She notes that art education has been dropped from most Oklahoma City schools, so she plans to hold trowel-painting classes for underprivileged children and teach them basic art techniques.
A chakra bowl-art combination class, as well as art-yoga classes and summer art-themed cookouts are also in the works. “My mission is to have a beautiful, happy place where people want to hang out. When you walk in, there’s color everywhere, cool furniture, and it’s very welcoming,” she says.
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.