My first public exhibit near the Louvre!
Do it …near the Louvre!
Kapow!…near the Louvre!
Tickle…near the Louvre!
Onlyness…near the Louvre!
Thanks to my dear friend, collector and curator, Nilofer Merchant, for arranging this impromptu pop-up exhibit of my mixed media paintings in Paris! Love it!
A Sense of Place is a beautiful exhibition of Lorraine Lawson’s mixed media paintings showing at the Triton Museum of Art until August 21. I was delighted to attend the opening reception last Friday and take in these sophisticated, zen-like pieces that are so richly layered and textured. Gorgeous work!
Lorraine Lawson with Gallerist Kumiko Iwasawa Vadas, of Iwasawa Oriental Art.
Silver Lining – Mixed Media
Lorraine Lawson’s paintings have a spare, zen-like quality about them, which comes through in her fine and carefully balanced compositions, her restrained, often metallic palettes and suggested in her use of calligraphic references. Her work is textured and layered, but so refined, which is quite amazing considering the intensive process involved in creating these pieces! Inspired by the time worn, weathered surfaces that bear the cultural fingerprint of places she’s encountered in her travels, Lawson recreates this effect using scraps of papers, scores and photos applied to canvases that are worked with mediums, compounds and drippy paint, then stenciled, squeegeed, and scratched, pealed back and rebuilt until all elements have coalesced. The resulting work is imbued with a subtle intensity and deep richness with a cadence, a rythym, a non-objective language of it’s own.
Out of Context
Recently, I was treated to a rare, behind the scenes look into the Lorraine Lawson’s Campbell studio and all the wonderful chaos that makes the magic of her work possible.
Bright and big and drippy.
Printed rag paper.
Worktable camouflage – can you find the spray bottle?
Calligraphy on rag paper.
Calligraphic flourishes on a work in progress.
Scraping back layers – part of the table.
Paintings everywhere, Lorraine Lawson is extremely prolific and works on a number of pieces at any given time.
Work in Progress.
I love following the artist’s process in the studio, how she takes the spark of an idea from some physical material and manipulate and transform them until they take on another life entirely – it really is magic!
You can see Lorraine Lawson’s her work on her website, LorraineLawsonFineArt.com or see it in person at the following locations:
Los Gatos Museum Gallery, Los Gatos, California
Iwasawa Oriental Art Gallery Los Gatos, California
Stockwell Cellars Santa Cruz, California
O’Hanlon Center for the Arts Mill Valley, California
Manna Gallery Oakland, California
Studio Seven Pleasanton, California
Studio E in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Nilofer Merchant, author, speaker and a Silicon Valley dynamo purchased a little assemblage painting from me last year. Bliss has hung in her office across from her desk as a reminder that happiness is not all rainbows and kittens but has an edge to it too, and maybe in the end it means more if you have to work for it. But she spoke more eloquently about this when she blogged about it in Are You Experiencing Bliss?
I’ve known that she is quite the Wonder Woman for some time so when Good Housekeeping approached her for some photos of her inspirational mug (which ran in the Dec 2012 issue) I was only too happy to help out. It was then that we began sharing our other Wonder Woman bits and bobs. She had a box full of postcards depicting early WW comics and I had a little cropped photo I’d kept taken of a some street art in San Francisco from the late ’90s.
This was the seed of a fun, collaborative process that would lead to the commission of four new works based on the idea of owning one’s onlyness and the acquisition of three earlier works that fit into Nilofer’s vision. The result was a portrait of sorts, one in which individual pieces not only say their piece but come together and spark a conversation. It takes a vision and a curatorial eye, but surely this is an instance when more is more!
One of the first stars to echo the one on Wonder Woman’s tiara was the twinkle I placed in her eye.
Do It was inspired by those vintage Japanese match boxes from the deco period. I loved how the registration line was off either intentionally or by accident, either way, the black shadow line for the lips looks like a Nike symbol – hence “do it”, as if the ruby red lipstick wasn’t enough encouragement to kiss!
I love how the text balloons hover empty while the blacked out speak seems to implore one to break the silence. Pretty appropriate for a speaker!
The canvas edge doesn’t show a lot when these pieces are hung together but it makes for a great space to reinforce the playful graphics of the work. Kapow! was inspired by artist Harry G. Peter who’s original was for issue # 27, 1948. I fixed some metalic rope that was unearthed in a dig from Latvia and some Soviet military stars to reference the cold war sentiment behind much of the Wonder Woman comics – rebelling against the “evil power structure”.
Nilofer interviewed me about my process for this series and my thoughts on onlyness and how it relates to this project to art and to life. You can check out the interview on her blog post Unanswered Questions to Ponder.