Come Out and Play in The Creative Sandbox

Ok let me just get right to the point with this blog post: wherever you are on your journey, it's more meaningful, insightful, and enjoyable to share the experience with like minded people. As artists, it's easy to forget the importance of creative companionship because we are deep into our work and often alone in our studios.  When we need information, or want to learn something new, it is all too easy to turn to the internet for a quick subject search or to access a DIY video. But nothing on the internet can replace the face to face experience of physically gathering in a space and experiencing the joy of the creative process with other people.

Each month I am honored to be a part of this magic as I welcome small groups of people into my studio to participate in day long creative workshops. The diversity of the groups is incredible in itself with professional artists creating side by side with people embarking on their first art or painting experience as an adult. I marvel at the skills and wisdom the experienced artists impart to the new painters, and at the fresh approach the new painters share with those who have been making art for years.  Friendships are forged, and people who arrived in the morning looking for technical skills leave at the end of the day glowing with the kind of inspiration that comes from creative community connectivity. Say that one fast 10 times and then head on over to the workshops page and peruse the Spring 2017 workshops. (Or just head on over to the workshops page). Sign up for some new skills and leave as an enlightened, inspired new person.

 

 

Encaustic Painting Workshop

Encaustic Painting Workshop

Welcome Color Lab!

A new hands-on color theory workshop that explores the exciting language of color!

But wait…..there’s more. Did I mention FUN along with the words color theory? This could be the most important word one could associate with color theory. Why, you ask? Let me tell you. 

Years ago when I was just a wee freshman at the Cleveland Institute of Art, I was required to take a color theory class as part of the foundation program. Twice a week I would dutifully trudge into the classroom, park myself behind a desk, and focus intently on creating doodles while the professor pontificated on the finer points of color theory. At the end of each lecture the finer points of my doodles made quite a statement, but the drone of the monotonous curriculum had passed swiftly in one ear and out the other. 

Years later, as a professional artist, I came across that textbook in a dusty box of books. I vaguely remember stifling a groan, or perhaps it was a loud yawn. But, being older and supposedly wiser, I was curious to crack the offensive cover and revisit the message with a fresh eye. Amazing! Out of the classroom and away from the dry professor, the book was quite fascinating. For the first time, I also began to consider that color theory, taught in a fluid, hands-on art studio, could be really fun and engaging. But the biggest ah-ha moment was realizing that in the years that followed those wild art student college days, color had emerged as the single most important element in my work. It is also the number one reason why people are drawn to my work, and hands down, the most enjoyable part of my creative process. Adding up these revelations led to a simple conclusion: it would be great to create an exciting hands-on color workshop and share my passion with other creative souls. After the initial spontaneous conception of an idea, birthing that idea takes a fair amount of patience, research and planning. But at last, the stork arrived and a new workshop, Color Lab: Hands-on Exploration of Color Theory, was born. 

In case you can't tell, I’m thrilled to have added Color Lab to the 2017 line up of Lauryn Taylor Contemporary Art Workshops. Come join me for an insightful and inspirational day celebrating the language of color.

 

2016 Summer Studio Tour, 8/27 & 8/28

It's a beautiful sweltering August day and and it is hot, I mean HOT in my studio. The thin layers of acrylic paint that I am carefully applying to 40 new paintings are drying so fast that most of them end up being a do over. Make that several do overs. Finally I just dunk the paintings in a sink full of cold water and voila! that extra moisture buys me a precious minute or two to get the paint on the panel with time to make a decision about composition before it dries. It's tedious, but with only two weeks to go until Summer Open Studio Tour, I press on.

I know that I am not alone, that this scenario, in one form or another, is taking place in studios all over the island. It's the mad rush to finish ambitious bodies of work, clean out and clean up (!) studios, and welcome visitors to our inner sanctum. For me, this tour is always the debut of a new body of work. The weeks leading up to the tour are full of excitement, followed by challenges, a touch of despair, a pinch of desperation (usually 48 hours before the tour when I realize some paintings are 49 hours away from completion) and a heaping dose of relief and satisfaction when somehow it always comes together.

Save the dates: Saturday and Sunday August 27 and 28 10:00am to 5:00pm. Once again, I will have lots of great things to share with you including 40 new paintings, an encaustic painting station for those who want to dabble (Sunday only), workshop registration for fall acrylic and encaustic workshops, and delicious food and beverages to enjoy while you are perusing the art. See you on the 27th and 28th!

Think Summer

We are always thinking about summer on Whidbey Island!

We are always thinking about summer on Whidbey Island!

Vibrant Whidbey Island summer Dahlias are always an inspiration.

Vibrant Whidbey Island summer Dahlias are always an inspiration.

'Tis the season to grab a hot tea (or toddy), cozy up on the couch with something warm and fuzzy, and reflect on the memories of summer. If you need a little inspiration to get those memories flowing, head on over to the gallery page to see my latest series, Forever Summer. This vibrant body of work is a tribute to summer; past, present and future.  Imagine the juxtaposition of cool tranquil waters and warm spicy sunsets, the stunning color of Whidbey Island summer Dahlias, and the abundance of light that creates long lazy summer days. These paintings will invite you to step out of your current climate and bask in the color of summer.

Each painting was created using extremely thin transparent layers of fluid acrylic over a textured white ground. The layers were spontaneous, and quite often if they didn't "feel" quite right, they were wiped off and redone, or lightly sanded with steel wool to enhance the texture. Eventually spontaneity gave way to editing and purposeful decision, yielding paintings that glow with luminous color and rich texture.

So, wherever you are on this blustery November day, think summer and enjoy these paintings!

Studio Tour: Blown Away

Forever Summer I Fall tried to crash our party but the paintings prevailed...

Forever Summer I
Fall tried to crash our party but the paintings prevailed...

Forever Summer II The bright light of this series lit up the studio during our power outage. 

Forever Summer II
The bright light of this series lit up the studio during our power outage. 

I  have always found studio tours to be an exciting experience. As the event approaches, the air is charged with anticipation, peaking in a last minute whirlwind of creativity. The big weekend arrives and the hours fly by with laughter, good company, and the rewarding transfer of paintings from artist to patron. 

The 2015 Whidbey Working Artists Summer Studio Tour lived up to all of that......and more. A hint of what was yet to come surfaced a few days before the event with a peculiar weather forecast. Ominous talk about a powerful weekend storm complete with BIG wind. In August? Surely a forecasting error. 

Yet, on August 29, at 9:00 am, as I put the finishing touches on the food and flowers, calm weather gave way to sudden, powerful wind gusts. As the first guests arrived, trees were blowing sideways and lights were blinking frequently, with the threat of a power outage lurking behind each flicker. But the power lines held, and people kept coming, blowing in through the door of the creaking 120 year old school house.

By noon, it was clear that we were under seige, experiencing a historic winter type wind storm....in summer. Check out the stats: wind gusts up to 50 mph over Puget Sound, 60-70 mph over NW Washington, and up to 90 mph in coastal areas. Power outages affected over half a million people. Several major roads were closed and the greater Seatte area was paralyzed. On Whidbey Island, several gas stations were inoperable, ATM's were down, water pumps were out, and partially lit generator powered stores struggled to stay open. 

At 1:00 pm, our power finally went out with a final gust and groan, and the warm halogen studio lighting gave way to flat, gray storm light. Thankfully, between the bright colors of the new series of paintings (ironically titled Forever Summer), and the tall 1890's style windows in the studio, there was still plenty of light and color. Surprisingly, painting sales and workshop registrations continued throughout the power outage. Wow! But best of all was the great attitude and sense of adventure that everyone had throughout the storm. True patrons of the arts!

By Sunday, the power returned, and we had another great turnout. To celebrate the return of power, an encaustic painting station was set up, and guests painted with hot pigmented beeswax and blow torches throughout the day. 

After all was said and blown, it was great fun to debut a series titled Forever Summer as fall attempted to crash our party. But art speaks, and on that day, the paintings and patrons had the last word. Thanks to all for your support, especially while ducking falling branches, gale force pine needle showers and flying fish.

Creation Celebration!

As another beautiful summer sinks slowly behind the horizon, the subtle reminders of fall have started gently nudging our senses. Brisk gusts of wind, swirling golden leaves with crisp edges, and the scent of light rain falling on parched earth herald the arrival of...(drum roll please)...a new website and blog, Open Studio Tour August 29 & 30, Fall Painting Workshops, and a brand new body of work!

Yes, it's that time of year when I feel incredibly grateful that when I take leave of my art, my art never leaves me. And, when I return from whatever life matter has lured me away, (in this case, summer family trips and activities) the art that resides deep in my soul is there patiently waiting for me, ready to start anew or resume where we left off. This time, when I stepped back into my dusty studio, the passion was stronger than ever, giving birth to a big breakthrough in both the creative and marketing side of my art. 

Please join me in celebrating the long awaited arrival of a completely new website (thank you Jeanne Juneau), a new schedule of acrylic and encaustic workshops that will be held in my lovely old schoolhouse studio/workshop space on Whidbey Island, and a beautiful new body of work that will debut at the Open Studio Tour August 29 and 30.

Speaking of the Studio Tour, please, be my guest next weekend. Stop by my studio and enjoy colorful art, tasty food, and lively libations (for big people and small). Feel free to ask questions about the process, my painting workshops, or about acquiring a piece of original art. As usual, I will have studio tour specials. Don't leave without a Whidbey Working Artists Studio Tour brochure to guide you to the other studios. The booklet features a full page for each artist as well as a map. It promises to be an artful weekend; rich in fun, festivity, and a celebration of the creative process.