TRELLLIS PAYNE IS a fine art artist with a B.F.A. in painting, minor in art history and photography from Valdosta State University.
By day, she teaches painting, design and art foundations at Savannah Arts Academy and is the artistic director of the Annual Junk 2 Funk Fashion Show. When she’s not teaching, she’s finding inspiration around her in nature for the next painting.
“I have different facets of art life, and I feel like it’s teaching art, creating my own art and I never thought I’d be in the fashion world but it all runs together,” Payne said. “Art influences me from every angle, and I can’t seem to escape it, haha!
“Since moving to Savannah I’ve fully embraced living in the low country. I live where I can see the water and enjoy scenes tucked around the marshes. When I’m out on a run and I see a quirky pelican, a graceful egret or a moody blue heron, I always stop to snap photos for a painting reference later down the road. There’s just something about taking in sunrises and sunsets around the water in person, seeing how the light hits the marsh life differently that continues to provide me so much peace and art inspiration.”
Payne’s palette consists of mixing warm colors against cool colors, such as peaches and greens, and adding in touches of metallic elements, like gold leaf or metallic leathers. The subjects in her art are southern and organic in nature, such as sweet Georgia peaches, magnolias, farm life or the quaint countryside.
“It makes me happy, it makes me think about my sweet mama, and how special it is to live down here where I’ve grown up picking peaches in the orchards of middle Georgia,” she said. “There is a family wholesomeness to that I really enjoy celebrating through my artwork.”
Just in time for the holidays, Payne made hand-painted peach and low country ornaments, as a small token of her art for all to enjoy.
“I want my art to bring someone a little southern taste of happiness for their holiday season and beyond, while capturing that ‘Hey y’all’ vibe that we have down south,” she said.