TREMENDOUSLY TALENTED TALIN

by STACEY MARCUS / photography by HOLGER OBENAUS

If you could enter the name Talin Lyman on thesaurus.com, synonyms like artist, painter and entrepreneur would pop up along with emojis of pineapples, flamingos and palm trees. It is no wonder that her studio is called Talin Tropic. The woman exudes a vibe of tropical delight, like sipping a colorful cocktail on an island holiday.

But don’t let the bright-colored and breezy island images paint a picture of a one-dimensional artist. Lyman is a multifaceted talent who has been creating custom artwork and furniture, painting murals and designing fabrics for more than 25 years. Her work has graced the pages of Architectural Digest, AD Coastal Living, Veranda, Florida Design and has been seen on Entertainment Tonight and The Martha Stewart Show. The Bone Appetit seat featured on The Martha Stewart Show is a doggy high chair that embodies Lyman’s playful spirit.

Lyman studied ancient painting techniques in Greece and graduated from Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she double majored in fine art and music. When she moved to Florida, more than three decades ago, she was creating a fresco ceiling in Boca Raton, Florida, when Bill Nessen, owner of Nessen Showroom, asked her, “Have you ever designed fabric?”

Lyman smiles when she remembers the first fabric she designed in 1991. It featured a banana palm tree. She went on to create fabrics that featured tropical designs exclusively for Nessen Showroom and developed a following in design centers around the country for interior applications. Her name became synonymous with tropical images, which were also featured on large-scale paintings and murals.

In 2008, Lyman was asked by South Sea Rattan and Fairfax Furniture in High Point, North Carolina, to create a line of furniture and coordinating fabrics called The Lyman Cottage Collection. Lyman’s fabrics hang in the home of Tiger Woods, on resort walls of Marriott Hotels and on the set of Mad Men. Her work can also be seen on a mural wall of former Vice President Dan Quayle’s home in the Florida Keys. Today, Lyman enjoys creating custom works on a smaller scale. “I had a client in Palm Beach who adored her Yorkshire terrier and King Charles spaniel, so I painted the dogs’ portrait and created a custom fabric to make pillows and drapery,” she says.

“I love creating unique designs for clients,” says Lyman, who is an ideal resource for people desiring bespoke artwork. One of her favorite things is to create a custom painting. “I love surprises,” she says, with a twinkle. A husband once commissioned Lyman to create a painting for his wife. He gave her free rein to create “something special” and then surprised his wife with the painting and a new home he purchased in Florida. Lyman retells the story with such joy that you’d think she received the painting and the house.

“Although the name of my business is Talin Tropic, I don’t just paint tropical themes,” says Lyman, who also creates wallpaper and home accessories and leads art classes. “Some of my students have been with me for 10, 12 years. We have a really good time. Some of them sell their work!”

Lyman recently designed a series of original and limited edition prints for Holland America to carry on its cruise ships. The beautiful botanicals illuminate her talent for capturing nature’s splendor with skill and grace. At press time, she was working with a local designer to create soft baroque-style designs on headboards, draperies and side tables.

Lyman recently moved to Boynton Beach, Florida, to a smaller space that she describes as a “cute, little retro bungalow.” Having to cherrypick belongings and paintings that fit into her new home was a challenge. Like picking a favorite child, it seems unfair to select one over the other when you deeply love them all.

When asked what her favorite tropical fruit is, Lyman spends a few moments reflecting and decides upon the pineapple. She still loves the old-master still life, where a selection of ripe fruits lay unsliced. “I just love the colors!” she muses.

I imagine her new home washed in a rainbow of color and light, and hope I get invited over soon for a tropical drink.

Stacey Marcus is a Boston-based freelance lifestyle, luxury and travel writer. Her works have appeared in Art New England, Boston magazine, Boston Common Magazine, Modern Luxury Chicago, Ocean Home Magazine, Playboy. com, RD.com and many others. A lover of big words and little white dogs, Stacey’s biggest joys are found in life’s simple moments.