We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren McPhail and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, what can you share with us about how Covid-19 has affected your business?
It has for sure affected my art sales, the opportunity to show my work, and I lost a lot of money on exhibition fees for submissions that did not happen. I will say that the shelter-in-place orders have more non-monetary benefits than cons to my art. I don’t have any external social pressures that would keep me from working in my studio, I know I have more time to work on pieces so there is not this weight to create a masterpiece in 2 hours, and the lack of exhibition opportunities left me the freedom to play. My time in my studio feels lighter and playful. That is a sign of forward momentum for me. I would have to say my favorite COVID affected change is how I’ve designated Sundays as “masterwork’s days” to do a master copy of a great artist to learn from their practice and techniques.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Existence as an extreme empath and overly self-aware person, I draw upon art to find my way in this reality. The constant battle in making my art shows a tension between imposing my conscious ideas and unintentional marks. I am able to further explore the philosophy of contrast, existence of dichotomies, and when the subconscious becomes conscious through learned traits of the mediums and freedom of mistakes Playing with techniques like form, negative space, composition, and texture, in combination of the natural state the medium, I allow the process to become the most important part second to what I want the viewer to get out of the piece. I find myself in multiple dimensions, curiously looking to the middle of a contrast, any contrast, and looking for an escape of my current reality. Sometimes that all comes out in organic, expressive imagery, and other times it is through hard-edge, colorful perspective works. I attended Southwestern University in Georgetown Texas with a degree in Economics and a minor in Studio Art. Now selling internationally and representation in Chelsea New York, I live in Austin with my pets. With a consistent success rate in showing my work and 14 years of creating works of art, my new focus is growing my presence in the gallery world.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My forever best friend and sister makes an annual trip to Austin see me, and we have a sister stay-cation. We would rent out a nice house downtown, arrive on a Friday, and probably take a nap after arrival. Naps are great. Then pick a walk-able bar to eat at and sip on some wine. Our first night would end with binge watching a show as we finish off another bottle of wine and talk about our dogs. The next day bathing suits are on, and we head to TownLake and rent a kayak. The day is so beautiful and everyone is smiling. We pick the perfect lunch spot, Pool Burger, for food and tiki drinks, and walk over to Deep Eddy to swim. By now we need to re-energize for later, so it’s back to the house for our daily nap. We wrap up our last night with a fancy dinner at Launderette and a nightcap at Nickle City. The next day we hug and both go home to our wonderful dogs, anxiously awaiting next year’s sister stay-cation.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow. I have so many dedications. I will start with my first love that influenced my work, Architecture and Philip Johnson specifically. I became in awe of Architecture as an art form and how it is the only art form we cannot escape as humans. The clean lines, open space, and clean design really formulated the first art works of my career. My mom, for giving me the creative gene… Thanks, Mom! Professor Star Varner at Southwestern University for teaching me everything I needed to know about being an artist, and believing in a random Economics student’s (me) abilities. I really thought I was not good at anything, and she gave me all the confidence in the world as I started painting. My besties, Katie, Laura, and Amy….never ever wavering their support, always being the ones to introduce me as an artist, and proudly displaying my work in their homes. The late Rene Magritte for showing me a world where at first glance seems normal, but as you look closely, you can see an unearthly world. He taught me to always make a part of my work a little abnormal.
Christina Q. Photography