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Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine

Reflecting Goodness in All She Does

Dec 05, 2017 09:22PM ● By Tracy McCoy

This summer was a life-changing season for local Interior Designer Rabun Martin. Rabun is the owner of Lulu & Tully's located on the corner of Main and Savannah Streets in downtown Clayton, Georgia. Being a mom, wife, and owner of two businesses can be taxing on anyone, although she does balance it all seamlessly most days. It was a hectic time and she had been wearing too many hats when she told her husband Ashley that she just felt like she needed an outlet. She had some old paints and brushes from a project she had done, and a canvas. Rabun allowed the creativity to flow, releasing the stress that had built up. She had never really explored painting, although she had taken a figure painting class, just for fun, during her days at the University of Georgia. Having “the eye” goes far beyond one area of your life. She liked what she saw on the canvas and she found the peace she was seeking. An artist was born that day and she has barely taken a breath since. Thank Heavens!

Rabun was born in Hallandale, Florida, and when she was 9 years old, she moved to the mountains. She exudes love when she talks about her family, so she told me about her Mom, Nina Lawrence, her twin sister, Siobhan, and her sisters , Memrie and Kimberly. You won't be shocked to learn they are all artistic in nature. Rabun's mom worked hard to raise her girls and Rabun learned perseverance from her. Nina was an antique and antiquarian book collector/trader. Rabun remembers sitting with her sisters on old quilts under the table while her mom and dad bid on items at auction. She began collecting stained glass when Rabun was young, and recently they installed her collection in her mountain home. Wonderful memories bring warm smiles to this beautiful, Godly woman.

So where else does her passion lie? In the amazing family God has gifted her. Rabun met Ashley Martin in middle school they were instantly sweet on each other and by high school committed to do life together. They were married after college and inseparable since. They have four awesome kids: Quillen, Sadie, Brooksie Tate and LE. They are a busy family, as you can imagine. The Martin kids all excel in their own area. Ashley is a wood-craftsman. He is the owner of Flat Creek Company, a custom furniture building firm specializing in healthcare furnishings. Both Rabun and Ashley are dedicated to interactive parenting. They want to invest in their children, teaching them to live loud, love God and mankind, and make a lasting difference in the world. Rabun tells me what a wonderful husband and father Ashley is, and I know that he would tell me the same about her.

What does Rabun enjoy when she isn't being a wife, mother, designer, and artist? She dances! Sometimes she dances while doing these other things too, but she loves to dance. She has incorporated her love of dance with her dedication to fitness, and she teaches Dance Fitness at Studio e in Tiger, Georgia. She has an energy that is contagious and her students catch it and move for an entire hour! Dance and art take her to a place of bliss that shows on her face.

Does she wish she had discovered her talent for art earlier in life? No. She says she believes she may have wasted it. Rabun paints with acrylics adding water and even coffee in with the paint. As Bob Ross says, sometimes there are just “happy accidents”. Dipping her brush in her coffee instead of the cup of water was not intentional, but the result was pleasing to her eye and is often now added to her paintings. Ashley creates wooden canvases for his wife and she is turning them out. Most artists agree that they can not ignore their desire to put brush to canvas. It is an extension of who they are, and it simply has to be done. She is drawn to paint barns, boats, flowers, and churches, and does all of them well! She has paintings from 6x6 inches to mural size works. She uses layers of paint so create texture, she loves drippy, messy paint that adds a unique character to each piece. She keeps a hairdryer nearby her work area to dry one layer before adding the next. You will see an antiquity to her art that I think is a reflection of the work she watched her mother do. It is truly amazing how we influence our children, a responsibility that Rabun takes seriously. She paints with her children who want to paint and dances with those who enjoy dancing. She takes interest in what they are interested in and together they all love living.

What could be added to Rabun's portfolio? Writing! She has written children's books about things like blueberry pancakes and girls at the beach. She includes valuable knowledge about Christ, kindness, and helping others, basically the same things she stresses in her home. She longs to write music, and one last desire is to design clothes for Patagonia. I can only imagine what impact that could have on that company. The sky is the limit with this artist. She is one to watch for sure. Keeping up with her is easy. Just stop in Lulu & Tully's where you'll find her art or visit her store's Facebook or Pinterest pages (luluandtullys). Rabun loves great ideas, so if you have a painting in mind she'd be up for the challenge. Give her a call at 706. 960.9446.

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