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Art & Life with Lauren Adams Thomas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Adams Thomas.

Lauren, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have always loved transparent color. I spent many summers as a kid destroying my mother’s McCormick food coloring dyes on various projects. I studied painting at the University of Illinois. I was a not-so-inspired art student until I ended up meeting the artist Peter Bodnar in a drawing class. Peter really liked my work (a first for me) and encouraged me to pursue painting.

After graduation he urged me to attend graduate school at Illinois State University. It was there that I took a class with the painter Harold Gregor. The class was mainly focused on California artists and the California Light and Space Movement. Maybe it was my 5th year of a Midwest winter, but that class really captured my imagination and influenced my work.

After grad school I headed to Chicago. I worked in some art related fields, met my husband and we moved to Los Angeles. I raised a family and continued to paint small watercolors. As my kids got older I found a small studio space at Santa Monica Fine Art Studios and became part of an art community. It was great, but the building was sold for development. A few years later, I Googled some of the former members of the community. Their work really impressed me. I saw that some of them were working with the artist Tom Wudl, so I called him up and he’s been mentoring me ever since.

I think I am now making some of my best work. The great part is that Tom is a contemporary of, and well acquainted with many of the California artists I was so mesmerized by in that freezing classroom, so it’s sort of a full-circle thing for me.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My work is an emotional response to nature or to the environment or to memory. The intention is for each painting to evoke an emotional response in the viewer. When I start a canvas, I begin with a pencil drawing and then apply many thin layers of oil paint to linen in order to reveal a luminescence and transparency in the color. The process itself is meditative, if somewhat laborious, but the resulting effect adds depth and power to the color, intensifying the impact. These finished paintings feel serene to me, and I hope they create a similar feeling in the viewer.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
Current events don’t really affect my work or process, but, the biggest challenge facing artists today is lack of community.

Artists need to be with other artists and they need places to work and show their work. As I mentioned earlier, my experience at Santa Monica Fine Art Studios was great. There were a wide variety of artists and work. The artist Tanya Rector was the director. She rented inexpensive space to over 30 artists. She put together openings with music and had a silent auction for charity. People purchased the art because it was affordable. She held the lease on the building for a long time, but eventually the owner sold it for development and obviously we have all seen what has happened to the DTLA arts district.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My work can be seen at the LA Art Association Gallery 825 website – www.laaa.org

My website – www.laurenthomasart.com

And you can find me on Instagram @laurenthomasart and my
Facebook page – Lauren Adams Thomas

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Hugh Thomas #1, Susan Einstein #3, Monica Leal Cueva#2 and #4,

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