How many of us found ourselves making huge life changes over the past few years? Perhaps these were changes we always longed for, or maybe ones we newly discovered that we needed. In this episode painter Lauren Luloff and I discuss her recent move from New York to Maine. We cover how this has shifted the ways she balances connection with the art community and the need for focused time in the studio. Lauren describes creating her new, more minimal life with her artist husband as they share in caring for their 6-year-old son, and how this simplified structure opens up new possibilities in her painting practice.
Lauren grew up in New Hampshire immersing herself in imaginative play and the creation of alternate worlds while exploring the natural setting of New England. Always painting and creating, she went on to receive a BFA from Pennsylvania State University and an MFA from Bard College. She moved to New York with the intention of establishing herself and finding a gallery, then 18 years later utilized the time opened up during the pandemic to pursue a long-standing goal of establishing a quieter life in Maine.
We discussed the details of the restructuring of her work and life outside the city, from building a studio to sending her son to preschool for the first time, as well as connecting virtually with other women artists while living in a rural setting. Lauren describes having participated in many residencies over the years and using this time to focus on painting the landscape from direct observation at these various sites, but feeling rushed in the shorter time frame of a residency. Now, she shares how she is looking forward to deepening this experience by painting her new surroundings over extended timescales. Continuing her childhood love of looking to the natural world as a basis for creating possibility, her rich and colorful paintings on silk are in her words, “landscapes, but also a desire to turn nature into pattern”. These vibrant, often uniquely shaped works blur boundaries between collage, textile, and painting.
We discuss Lauren’s definition of success as the ability to make the number of paintings she desires to make, and how rural versus city settings each have benefits and drawbacks when trying to reach this goal. This conversation is a picture of an artist at a pivotal moment, both in her child’s new small steps in autonomy and in the possibilities for broadening the scale and scope of her painting practice in this new setting.
Biggest Art Crush: Donna Nelson
Dream Trip: Greenland and Iceland – Japan
Favorite meal: Kale salad or seafood
To see more of Lauren’s work please visit her website and follow her on IG @laurenluloff
The Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn