To Top

Meet Heather Lowe of Lenticular Fine Art in Lincoln Heights

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Lowe.

Heather, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My story is an L.A. story through and through. I was born in Santa Monica when the sidewalks were so clean you could walk around barefoot. My parents bought land up the coast when it was dirt cheap and built their own house. I was immersed in wild oceans, sparkling sand, tall, tall green grass fields, wind, and fires. I made it through the Santa Monica-Malibu School System when there were MLS Librarians, music and art programs. All these first experiences influenced my art. In my later high school and college years, I met a group of independent artists who taught me everything. They taught me how to listen to Pierre Boulez, how to study architecture, how to appreciate Samuel Beckett. I went on to San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz but while I was drawing and etching, I was also studying philosophy and science and literature. My first artwork to be exhibited was juried in by Howard Fox in a San Francisco art festival. At that time, I was making box-like sculptures with a silk cloth, microscope coverslips, and miniature perfume bottles. I then returned to L.A. and began painting. These paintings were influenced by Bridget Riley and many other artists working with the tenets of optical and visual illusion. I was also exhibiting pretty regularly by this time. I later dabbled in stereo imagery and still do some of that today, but about twelve years ago, I discovered lenticular lenses. This medium seemed the natural choice for me. It was like magic. I could make a picture that moved both laterally and in depth. I could allow the viewer to see it they way they wanted to. It’s like watching a field of grass in the wind.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t believe any artist has a smooth road. I’ve been very lucky for the most part and I have been able to continue making art through a few rough spots, but trials in life form our characters. We become who we are by the way we respond. I would say my art and other artist’s work has literally saved my life in a few instances. One year I had been hurt badly and I steeped myself in films by Kurasawa. Toshiro Mifune literally saved me from becoming completely melancholy and sentimental! In the last few years, I have mined quite a bit of inspiration in poetry amid the flak. I suppose what I am getting at is: art is never the problem for me. Life throws a lot in your way, but art is always my way out.

Lenticular Fine Art – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My current work is made with lenticular lenses. Most people recognize lenticulars as signage or small “winkie” cards. But in the last five years or so, I have seen more fine artists experimenting with this medium in L.A. If you went to the L.A. Art Show, you would have seen about five lenticular artists all doing very unique things. I create many different effects with lenticular lenses, such as flipping images, morphing, animation, and 3d. Most artists use photography for lenticulars but I like to keep my hand in by starting with drawings, paintings or making maquettes. I like to do the entire process myself beginning with the drawings, layering the images in adobe, printing the interlace, then finally laminating the interlace on the lens and cutting the lens down to size. If I have to do a very large piece, I send my files to an artist in Michigan (Midwest Lenticular) who helps me laminate. I like his work and he is sensitive to color and subtle movement. I have done a few commissions but I really enjoy working with my own ideas. This spring my artwork is exhibited in Monaco and I was able to travel there to install the show. I recommend a book by Yitzhak Weissman: “Lenticular Imaging” if you are curious about the process of how a lenticular works. Michael Brown is very knowledgeable and often lectures about the process as well. Commercial lenticulars have been around since the 1940’s and even earlier by some pioneers. A young man named Rick Corrales was really the first to exhibit fine art lenticulars in Los Angeles. People are welcome to shoot me an email, come by my studio and see one in person. I plan to do a workshop at bG Gallery in Ocean Park in June as well.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I think the first time someone acknowledges your work, and loves it and wants to own it, is the best feeling. When I was young, I had completed a large abstract painting. It was a kind of self-portrait of me sitting beside my niece. We were building sand castles besides the ocean. I was still pretty young and I had entered it in a juried show in Malibu. It won some award and I got in my car and raced down to the ocean and I got out, overlooking the water and started to cry. I guess I cried because I worked so hard on that painting, and some stranger seemed to get what I was doing and acknowledge it. I don’t have it anymore. It ended up in an exhibition at the Alexandria Museum of Art where someone bought it. This experience happened once more when I had just completed one of my very first lenticulars and I put it in the Barnsdall Open Show to see the audience reaction. I overheard some good comments and then it was bought by one of the staff members! I have since had lots of great moments but the first time it happens is memorable. I am very proud of my current lenticular show in Monaco, particularly because I had to overcome lots of obstacles just getting the artwork there. I learned LACMA will doing a historical exhibit: “3D: Double Vision” and I hope to do a show concurrently with some contemporary 3d stereo and lenticular artists.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Portrait: Mark Harvey

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in