My first artist profile as a staff writer for the Irregular is in print today! You can find copies of the Easton Irregular all around Easton, for example in the foyer outside my studio and the Easton Public Market. For those of you who can't get a hard copy, I am publishing this article here on my blog. I also made it my new Bio.
"Suddenly a veil was torn away. My destiny as a painter opened up to me." -Monet
I am overjoyed to introduce myself as the new writer for this “Artist Profile” column. I accepted the position with great enthusiasm because I love to write and I am also an artist myself. Those two parts of my spirit seem to feed off each other and are inseparable. I write a weekly blog every Wednesday morning that includes, among other things, essays, short stories, and poems about art (www.laurenkindle.com/blog). I also paint full-time in my new studio in downtown Easton at 7B North Bank Street, when my children (ages 7 and 10) are in school. I just signed the lease for my studio in August, so it still feels like a brand-new adventure!
I moved to Easton ten years ago, and for a long time I was completely preoccupied with raising a family and being a stay-at-home mom. Although I was always creative, I didn’t consider myself a Serious Artist, and I was unsure about what I wanted to do with my life. Then, in July of 2014, I had what I can only describe as an artistic awakening. Almost overnight, I was overtaken with a fierce, burning desire to paint, and I knew I just had to be an artist. It was just like there was a blazing fire inside of my body, terrifying and exciting at the same time.
I was desperate to learn everything I could about art. Thanks to a tremendous amount of understanding and support from my family, I was able to take some private painting classes and workshops, and a few courses at the Baum School of Art in Allentown. And of course, I soon realized that painting itself is the best teacher. I am so lucky to live in Easton, which is such a fantastic place to be an artist. The energy is great; you can just feel that the city loves artists! The art community is so supportive, and I’m grateful to the seasoned artists who have helped me by giving me encouragement and guidance.
I paint mainly in oils, which are just so luscious and satisfying, and I find inspiration in the world around me: in my family members and community, the local architecture and landscape, the objects that surround me in my daily life, other artists’ work, and even my own dreams and fantasies. A lot of my work, mainly my still lifes, can be described as chiaroscuro, an oil painting technique developed during the Renaissance which uses strong tonal contrasts and has a very dramatic lighting effect. When I paint this way, I have a lot of fun and I feel like a magician performing a trick. Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Artemisia Gentileschi are some of my chiaroscuro influences.
I also do quite a bit of plein air landscape painting, which is painting out-of-doors. I go about these paintings much differently from my chiaroscuro work. They are more free and painterly and I use a brighter, more colorful palette. With the landscapes, I’m able to express something inside of myself that I can’t do any other way. I benefited a great deal from taking some local plein air workshops, which I describe in greater detail in my blog. My landscape-painter idols include Corot, Yael Scalia and Stuart Shils.
However, in reality, I adore many different kinds of painting, and I am smitten with many, many different artists. (Just read my blog or follow me on Pinterest if you are curious.) I really haven’t been painting seriously for very long and I’m not ready to chain myself down to any one way of painting just yet. When I try out certain methods or techniques, I try to do so from a place of joy and curiosity. I feel like a student in the best sense, delighted to play and learn new things. I’m sure that I can continue to grow as an artist for as long as I live. To quote my artist statement from my solo show last spring:
“I am filled with eagerness for the artist's life that stretches out before me.”
I’m grateful for this opportunity to share my love of art and artists with the readers of the Easton Irregular. I really look forward to writing these articles. Enjoy!
You can meet Lauren and see her work up close along with several other area artists this month on the Art Community of Easton’s 19th Annual ACE Art Tour, Saturday & Sunday, April 22 & 23 from 11 am to 5 pm both days. Lauren’s Studio is located at 7B North Bank Street. To contact Lauren, call 267-247-6364, email email@example.com or visit her online at www.laurenkindle.com. She can also be found on various social networking platforms: Instagram - @lauren_kindle, Facebook - kindlearts, Pinterest - laurenjkindle, and Twitter - @KindleArts.