April 2019: In Patient Waiting

Spring is finally here!

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It is always such a relief when we finally turn the corner into spring. Undoubtedly, we will still have a few cold, snowy days, but at least I can count on warmer sun, an increasing amount of daylight, and a renewed sense of positivity and motivation. This is most helpful as I continue to wait for deadlines to pass and to eventually hear back about my applications for group shows, a grant, and two international residencies.

As I wait, I am trying to stay as busy as possible. I helped support the La Napoule Art Foundation (LNAF) by providing 2 paintings to an auction at their annual fundraiser, one of which sold! I first heard about the organization when I had the pleasure of working with a number of individuals who work and volunteer for LNAF while teaching at Hallett Elementary last fall. The non profit organization was founded in 1951 in France by Marie Clews in honor of her husband, a sculptor. Her vision of supporting artists is carried on through the organization’s residencies and outreach programs here in Denver, as well as in France. For more information about LNAF, visit www.lnaf.org.

“Wash Park, Denver, CO, 2017” 8x10 oil on canvas   SOLD - in support of La Napoule Art Foundation

“Wash Park, Denver, CO, 2017” 8x10 oil on canvas

SOLD - in support of La Napoule Art Foundation

View from Bickell Sheep Farm” 12x16 oil on canvas, 2016  | $280  AVAILABLE - 50% of sale will be donated to La Napoule Art Foundation. If you would like to purchase this painting and support LNAF, please email me at  laurenandersonfineart@gmail.com .

View from Bickell Sheep Farm” 12x16 oil on canvas, 2016 | $280

AVAILABLE - 50% of sale will be donated to La Napoule Art Foundation. If you would like to purchase this painting and support LNAF, please email me at laurenandersonfineart@gmail.com.

I have also kept busy in the studio. My most recently finished painting, pictured below, pushed me to grow in new ways, and I learned a great deal throughout the process. Working larger has definitely presented its fair share of challenges; it is forcing me to really consider my composition, and how it interacts with the entire picture plane and beyond. Though it’s difficult for me to break away from simply representing whatever is in front of me, I am being pushed to make more intentional decisions and to maintain an awareness of my intent throughout the process.

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The painting that is currently on my easel is pushing this growth even further and is 30x40 inches. If you follow me on social media, you may have seen a few posts of in-progress and detail shots. I hope to finish this painting in the next few days, so keep an eye out for the final product to be posted soon!

Recently, I was gifted an insightful little book, and I’ve enjoyed starting my time in the studio by reading a few of the thought-provoking remarks. So I leave you with this nugget of wisdom by Enrique Martinez Celaya taken from his collection of thoughts, On Art and Mindfulness: Notes from the Anderson Ranch:

“Art is as much about what is not there as about what is there. The greatness of a work of art depends more in what it holds back than in what it shows.” - On Art and Mindfulness

I hope everyone is enjoying a little bit of warmer weather and sunshine this week!

‘Til next time,

—Lauren

February 2019: Let's Catch Up

Hello! Long time, no see!

And just like that, 2019 is charging ahead at full force, and I’m happy to be back updating you all on my studio happenings! As I mentioned in my last newsletter, I started my year off by working with Marianne Mitchell, another local painter as my professional development coach. We are half way through our committed time together, and so far our meetings have been incredibly insightful and are already refining my understanding of what it means for me to be a painter. I fully anticipate this season of exploring and reflecting to remain at the forefront of my mind throughout this year of painting, if not longer.

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Left: previous versions

Right: final version of “Still Life with Ceramic Vessel” 20x30 oil on canvas 2018

If you follow me on social media, you’ve already seen the above painting “finished” TWICE now. Well third time’s the charm, and this time I think it will stick! This painting was such a challenge for me to resolve and therefore, a great learning experience.

When initially creating the painting, I was only thinking about how I could make a more dynamic composition, one that had a stronger relationship between foreground and background. In doing this, I lost sight of the fact that I had wanted to make a painting of the large ceramic vessel, the only truly successful piece I made for that college project. So with the insight of my coach and a stronger awareness of what I valued in the painting, I had to reconsider how my composition was supporting those values and original inspiration. As you can see in the various versions, the background and part of the foreground were simplified, and some additional twigs were added to create more visual movement in the top half of the painting.

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With the new year, I am also continuing my commitment of attending a figure drawing session at least once a month. As with anything, the more you practice, the better your skills and confidence develop. Confidence is a big struggle for me when it comes to painting and drawing the figure, but I can already feel it getting easier. Lately, I’ve enjoyed working in pastels as a happy medium between drawing and painting. It has been years since I broke out my set of Rembrandt pastels, and it has been a delightful return to the material.

For those who are curious, I am using soft pastels. I have also used chalk pastels in the past, but I prefer the way soft pastels layer on top of one another in a very similar way to paint. Ironically, I have never been a big fan of using oil pastels, though they do provide lots of fun for kids’ art projects. Soft pastels are smoother than oil pastels and can be manipulated more easily once put on a surface.

Year 2019 is off to a great start, and I am excited for all the opportunity and growth it is already bringing. I am hopeful for good news over the next few months regarding shows, grants, and residencies, and of course, will share as I know more.

Until next time, I wish you all a love-filled February and continued hope for a great year to come.

—Lauren

December 2018: Tis the Season

Happy Holidays!

It’s hard to believe how quickly 2018 is coming to a close. I find December to be one of the most fast-paced months of the year, so I’m taking a moment to reflect back on all that has happened.

This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to be the Interim Program Coordinator with the Art Students League of Denver where I oversaw the summer camp and exhibition programs. In late August, I moved out of that role, and in September, I moved on from ASLD to spread my wings as an artist. I also joined PlatteForum (another local arts nonprofit) as an art instructor teaching at Hallett Elementary; this has been such a challenging learning experience for me, yet has revealed so much about myself and my personal goals. In all honesty, I don’t see working in a school system as a good long-term fit, so I will be continuing in more of an assistant role to see the school year through to the end; like so many kids, my students have had plenty of adults throw in the towel and give up on them, and I refuse to be one more.

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< Once Upon a Red Rose, 9x12 oil on panel; SOLD at Access Gallery’s 2018 99 Pieces of Art of the Wall

With Fall, I jumped full-force back into my painting career. I started this monthly newsletter, did a large-scale, painting installation for a mental health hospital, reopened a book illustration project, attended the occasional figure-drawing session, participated in three exhibits (two of which were juried), started a painting series, and began learning how to build my own frames, a process which I am still fine-tuning.

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< The Paper Bag Project painting series thus far

I am so grateful for the many opportunities that have come my way throughout 2018, and I am looking on toward 2019 with great anticipation and expectations. Come January, I will be working directly with another local artist as my professional development coach, and I am so excited to see what I can learn from her about growing myself as an artist and a business woman. I also have a number of applications in the works for more potential excitement in the new year, and of course I will continue to apply for group and juried exhibitions.

For many of us, the last few months of the year seem to disappear all too quickly into a mess of shopping, traveling, and holiday parties. So don’t forget to pause once or twice to reflect on all the blessings, challenges, growing pains, failures, and successes the past year has brought.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and safety to all who are traveling; see you in the new year!

—Lauren

November 2018: Pushing the Limits!

Hello Friends!

It has been a busy month between a couple odd projects, painting, teaching, applying to a couple shows, and continuing to network. In addition to working on my usual painting projects, I’ve recently taken the dive back into illustrating a children’s book written by a family member. Drawing directly from my imagination is certainly not one of my strengths, so this has been a great challenge. I am enjoying the time spent working on my drawing skills and in a different media (watercolor). There’s still a long way to go, but I am excited to see this little book come together!

Also this past month, I tried my hand at two, larger scale “mural” paintings commissioned by a behavioral health hospital. The designs for both projects were previously created; I simply had the pleasure of installing them. With both projects being located outdoors in the courtyard, I learned a little bit about traffic paint, and got to do some stencil-related problem solving. Shown to the left is the in-progress followed by the newly finished labyrinth (12ft. diameter), and below is the refreshed hospital logo brightening up the yard’s basketball court. For it being my first time doing this kind of work, I must say I am very proud of how they turned out! It was such an honor to have the opportunity to do this work.

I try to say “yes!” to as many things in life as possible. It is so important to stretch beyond our comfort zones and to try something new, to be challenged. After all, how can we continue to grow if we never push our limits? And additionally, how can we know something is possible unless we try? For this reason, I truly enjoy doing commission work; many turn out to be great learning experiences. Doing this kind of work also has an immediate purpose of serving others and bringing joy and light into their lives. I have been given a creative gift, and aspire to share that gift with others throughout my career.


WHAT’S ON THE EASEL?

Pictured at the right is my palette after a recent painting session. It’s always a good idea to organize your palette the same way every time so that it becomes muscle memory to reach for a certain color. I typically use a relatively limited palette; for this painting I am using ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, alizarin crimson, cad red light, cad yellow medium, yellow ochre, and titanium white.

At 20x30in, this painting is larger than I have worked in some time. I always seem to forget how much time a larger painting requires, but I am taking it one day at a time. My intent in setting up this still life was to have more consideration for the whole canvas, the whole composition. I also decided to take on the challenge of patterned fabric; I’m still deciding whether or not that was a good idea ;). I hope to finish this painting in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned on social media for the finished product.

Fun fact: the large vase is a ceramic piece I made back in college! It was the only really successful piece from that particular assignment, and I’ve wanted to include it in a painting for a while now.

 

I hope you all have a wonderful week and blessed November.

— Lauren

PS - If you want to give the gift of art this holiday season, I would love to help you create the perfect thing for your special someone, whether it’s a portrait, landscape, or something entirely of your choosing. Email me at laurenandersonfineart@gmail.com!  

October 2018: New seasons, new chapters

Happy Fall, Everyone!

September came and went like a gust of wind. I completed and sold a painting at the “99 Pieces of Art on the Wall” fundraiser for Access Gallery; it felt great to contribute to the exhibit and to be able to support this gallery and their mission! During this time, I also decided to resign from my part-time position after a wonderful four and a half years working on staff at the Art Students League of Denver. I attribute so much of what I have accomplished and learned over the past several years to my time spent on staff at ASLD and as part of the art community I’ve come to know and love. Moving on is certainly bittersweet, but is in the spirit of “see you later” rather than “good bye.” I look forward to continuing to grow as an artist with this remarkable organization. In the immediate future, I’ll be attending at least one figure study session per month to brush up on my figure drawing. While currently my work does not focus on the figure, I know that honing these skills will only make me a better artist in the long run.

A few quick sketches from this week’s Wednesday night drawing group. It was my first time figure drawing since college! I definitely felt a little rusty, but I’m determined to stick with it and to improve my figure drawing skills.

Drawings ranging from 1 to 15 minutes.

Once Upon a Red Rose | 9x12in, oil on panel, 2018 | SOLD as part of the “99 Pieces of Art on the Wall”

 

October will be a month of transition as I find a new weekly rhythm between more painting (yay!), networking, and continuing to teach art at Hallett Elementary. As exciting as change can be, we all know it can also be difficult and even a little scary! In all honesty, the past couple months have been trying and full of consideration, contemplation, questioning, and even a little bit of self-doubt. In an effort to become more business-minded, I asked myself “why do I paint?” and “why do I make art?” and when I couldn’t answer those questions in some profound way, I wondered if I should be doing this at all. Art has always been a part of who I am; I’ve known, more or less, since the age of four that I wanted to be an artist, but I questioned if that was reason enough. After a number of discussions with peers and sleepless nights, I’ve decided that it is.

So for now, I make art because those are the gifts I’ve been given; because I love color and how colors relate to one another; because something inside me says that this is what I’m supposed to be doing; and because art reminds me to slow down and to look at life. And hopefully, by doing what I was created for, I can bless and bring joy to the lives of others through my work.

Thank you for joining me this month, and may your coming days be full of beautiful autumn colors!

— Lauren


What’s on the Easel?

What's on the Easel?

Inspired by a painting done in college, I have started a new series called “The Sack Lunch.” The paintings will feature different styles of lunch bags, and will be small, simple studies allowing me to focus on exploring different color palettes and painting techniques. On a more conceptual note, I find it humorous and intriguing how a lunch bag can provide some insight on its owner. As a kid, my lunch was usually packed with heavier items, like an apple, on the bottom and softer items, like a sandwich or cookie on top. And if I carried my lunch in a paper bag, the top was neatly folded over. You probably could have guessed ;)

September 2018: From my studio (to you!)

Hello friends!

Thank you for joining me for my FIRST EVER email newsletter, and for helping me take the next step in furthering my creative business! My goals for the remainder of this year are to build an email list (so if you like what you see, please share with a friend!), send out a newsletter once a month, and to approach my art endeavors as an artrepreneur. With one small step at a time, I’m excited to see my business grow!

Since the purpose of this newsletter is to update and inform, allow me to briefly fill you in what I’ve been up to this summer. In June, I participated in the 2018 Summer Art Market, an annual juried art festival hosted by the Art Students League of Denver (ASLD) where I work. It was a great first art market experience, and I’m still determining whether it is something I will do again next year. Also this summer at ASLD, I worked full time as the Interim Program Coordinator running our summer camp program as well as the exhibit program. My time in that position came to an end mid-August, and I made a happy return to my part-time painting routine these past couple of weeks.

In addition to painting and returning to the ASLD Registration Staff team, I will be stretching my art teacher wings as the visual art instructor at Hallett Elementary. Every Thursday through December and every Wednesday January-May, I will be sharing my love of art with kids grades preschool through fifth grade. Already 2 weeks in, I am anxious to see where the year leads, and I am hopeful to make a small difference in these kids’ lives in the short amount of time I spend with them each week.

Presently, I am working on a small, new painting for the annual 99 Pieces of Art on the Wall fundraising exhibit with Access Gallery in Denver, a gallery dedicated to creating opportunities for young adults with disabilities. Look for the finished piece and more updates in October’s newsletter and on social media!

Stay tuned and thanks for listening!

—Lauren

Sunflower Study 11x14 oil on canvas 2018